Congress Returns, Passes Russian Trade Bill

Nov292012

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Created on November 29, 2012
 

A week after the 2012 Election Cycle where the House and Senate essentially remained the same, Congress returned to Washington for the final weeks of the 112th Congress.  As talks continued between leaders in Congress on how to address the impending fiscal cliff, Members of the House passed a bill to establish permanent trade relations with the ninth-largest economy in the world, Russia.

On Friday, November 16, by a vote of 365-43, the House passed the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012. The bill lifts U.S.-imposed restrictions with Russia dating back to the Cold War. With passage, U.S. companies and farmers would see lower tariffs, better protections for intellectual property and greater access to Russia’s service market. Further, with Russia recently joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), it allows U.S. companies to go before the WTO to resolve disputes.

In 2011, Russia imported nearly $300 billion, however U.S. goods only accounted for 5 percent of that figure. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, it is projected that U.S. exports to Russia could double in the next five years with passage of this legislation.

The Senate is expected to act on this measure following Thanksgiving and the President has indicated support of the bill.

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