Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), International Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) introduced legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia and repealing the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment. These steps are required for American businesses to fully benefit from Russia’s World Trade Organization (WTO) accession.
William R. Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, issued the following statement regarding the introduction of this legislation in the Senate.
"On behalf of SPI members and the U.S. plastics industry, I want to thank Senators Max Baucus, John Thune, John Kerry and John McCain for introducing legislation to allow U.S. manufacturing to take full advantage of Russia’s imminent entry into the WTO by removing the restrictions put in place by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.
“Without this change to our trade laws, our global competitors would be the only beneficiaries of Russia’s WTO accession and U.S. manufacturing would miss out on a much needed boost to job creation and economic growth that a level playing field in the world’s 9th largest economy would bring.
“Between 2005 and 2010, total bilateral trade between the U.S. and Russia doubled. Assuming a strong Russian economy, U.S. merchandise exports to Russia could double following WTO accession from $9 billion (in 2008) to $19 billion. Since 2000, U.S. plastics exports to Russia have increased by almost 700 percent. In joining the WTO, Russia has agreed to bind tariffs on manufactured goods at an average rate of 7.3 percent, down from the current average rate of 9.5 percent, so I see tremendous potential for our industry in Russia. SPI and its member companies urge quick Congressional action to pass the proposed legislation so as not to cost U.S. manufacturing additional market opportunities from any further delays.”
Founded in 1937, SPI is the plastics industry trade association representing the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States. SPI's member companies represent the entire plastics industry supply chain, including processors, machinery and equipment manufacturers and raw materials suppliers. The U.S. plastics industry employs nearly 900,000 workers and provides more than $341 billion in annual shipments.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SPI promotes business development via a suite of commercial services and trade shows, fosters the sustainable growth of plastics in the global marketplace, provides industry representation in the public policy arena and communicates the industry’s contributions to society and the benefits of its products