Posts Tagged ‘andrew quinn’

September 2012

Clinton sees Congress moving on Russia trade measure


The U.S. Congress may move this month to upgrade trade relations with Russia, a key part of the Obama administration’s effort to bolster sometimes strained ties with Moscow and open the Russian market to more U.S. companies, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday.

Clinton, addressing the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) meeting in Vladivostok, said the Obama administration was working closely with Congress on lifting the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, Cold War-era legislation which has blocked normal trade privileges for Russia.

“To make sure our companies get to compete here in Russia, we are working closely with the United States congress to terminate the application to Jackson-Vanik to Russia and grant Russia permanent normalized trade relations,” Clinton said.

“We hope that the Congress will act on this important piece of legislation this month.”

Congress is under pressure to approve the permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) bill because of Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) last month, a move the United States strongly supported.

U.S. business groups hope the House of Representatives and Senate will pass the legislation in September before lawmakers return home to campaign. Businesses worry that without it U.S. firms may not get access to newly opened services markets and be subject to potential arbitrary Russian trade reprisals.

But with concerns in Congress about Moscow’s support for Iran and Syria, as well as its broader human rights record, the timing of a vote remains unclear.

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