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Business Roundtable: Kentucky exporters stand to benefit from growing Russian market

Association urges Congress to pass Russia PNTR legislation

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) — When Russia joins the World Trade Organization (WTO) later this summer, exporters in Kentucky and throughout the United States could increase trade with the world’s ninth largest economy, according to a press release from Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with over $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 14 million employees.

But Congress must first act — by approving permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) legislation – before Kentucky and other states can enjoy the full benefits of Russia’s market-opening WTO commitments, the association says.

Business Roundtable has launched a 50-day campaign to increase pressure on Congress to pass Russia PNTR by the August recess. Russia PNTR is BRT’s top trade priority for 2012.

“This is the most significant trade opportunity this year to help support American jobs and grow the United States economy,” said Business Roundtable (BRT) President John Engler. “Congressional action on PNTR will benefit Kentucky and its companies, farmers and workers.”

Kentucky exported over $39 million worth of goods to Russia in 2011 supporting an estimated 128 jobs, according to a BRT economic analysis. If Congress passes Russia PNTR, these numbers are expected to grow, the group says. If Congress fails to act on PNTR, these numbers will likely fall, as foreign competitors in Europe, Asia and elsewhere will be able to take full advantage of Russia’s WTO commitments, but Kentucky and its companies will not.

Russia’s WTO membership means, among other things, that it must lower its tariffs, provide greater market transparency, protect intellectual property rights and abide by the WTO’s rules of international trade, BRT says.

For more information on current U.S. trade with Russia on a state-by-state basis and the potential to grow exports from each state to Russia if PNTR legislation is passed, visit www.brt.org/Russia.