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Invitation to Join the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade
16 February 2007
Invitation to Join the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade

An Invitation to Join the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade 
Download the Membership Form and join today!

Who We Are

The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is a broad-based group of U.S. companies and trade associations committed to strengthening U.S.-Russian commercial ties, and preserving the competitiveness of U.S. firms, farmers, and workers in the Russian market. Its members span the varied sectors of U.S. industries engaged in trade with Russia and the Coalition’s Secretariat, which is housed at the U.S.-Russia Business Council in Washington, D.C, is led by veterans of trade policy campaigns. (See attached list of current Coalition members.) While our ultimate mission is to lobby the U.S. Congress to approve important legislation that will ensure U.S. companies can take full advantage of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) – the chief international body regulating global trade – we are currently engaged in educating the Members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs regarding the importance of the U.S.-Russia economic relationship, and how Russia figures prominently in the global competitiveness strategies of U.S. manufacturing, services and farm interests. We are working to move the U.S. Congress up the learning curve on Russia by highlighting the dynamism of the market and its importance to U.S. interests. Then, at the appropriate time, we will work to ensure that Congress moves swiftly to graduate Russia from the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions and extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Russia, which will permit U.S. companies to take advantage of the tremendous benefits that come as a result of Russia’s WTO membership.

Why Our Mission Is Important

If Congress does not approve PNTR for Russia when Russia joins the WTO, the competitive position of U.S. companies in the Russian market will immediately suffer. This is because under WTO rules, WTO members must have “unconditional” free trade with one another. Once Russia is a WTO member, if the U.S. does not repeal Jackson-Vanik and grant Russia PNTR, the U.S. will not have the legal right to access the terms of Russia’s WTO accession (such as tariff reductions and other market liberalization measures). As a result, U.S. companies will sit on the sidelines as 149 other WTO nations step forward and enjoy the benefits of Russia’s WTO commitments, many of which the U.S. secured at the negotiating table. In a nutshell, if Congress does not approve PNTR, Russia will still get into the WTO, our commercial competitors will gain, but U.S. companies will be greatly disadvantaged in a key emerging market.

What We Are Doing

Established in 2005, the Coalition has worked with U.S. trade negotiators over the past two years to ensure that the concerns of U.S. companies were addressed in bilateral negotiations that resulted in a commercially meaningful U.S.-Russian WTO accession agreement last November. The Coalition continues to work with the U.S. and Russian governments on other outstanding commercial issues that were outlined in side letters to that agreement and that need to be addressed in the multilateral discussions that are continuing in Geneva with respect to Russia’s WTO accession.

As those negotiations advance, the campaign to graduate Russia from Jackson-Vanik will launch later this year. In the meantime, the Coalition is busy educating staffers on Capitol Hill on the wealth of business opportunities that the Russian market offers, and on the significance of granting Russia PNTR at the appropriate time. To this end, the Coalition recently launched its campaign website (www.usrussiatrade.org) to serve as a resource for policy-makers and members of the public.

How To Get Involved

As we move forward, the Coalition recognizes that our strength will be in our numbers, and we are reaching out as broadly as possible to companies, trade associations and interest groups to join the campaign.

General Membership in the Coalition is free and open to any U.S. business or organization. Coalition members are kept apprised of Coalition activities and events, and will receive guidance and materials for engaging their Members of Congress on this important issue. The Coalition particularly welcomes the involvement of small and medium-sized businesses engaged in trade with Russia who have a positive story to add to the discussion, or who see important opportunities in Russia’s WTO accession.

We encourage you to return the attached Membership Form today join the rapidly growing list of those supporting the extension of PNTR to Russia in this historic campaign!

Sincerely,

The Coalition Co-Chairs

Stephen Biegun
Ford Motor Company

R. Scott Miller
Procter & Gamble

William Lane
Caterpillar, Inc.

 

Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade
Steering Committee
 
Business Roundtable American International Group, Inc.
Coalition of Service Industries Boeing Company
Emergency Committee for American Trade Cargill, Inc.
National Association of Manufacturers Caterpillar, Inc.*
National Foreign Trade Council Chevron Corporation
National Pork Producers Council Dow Chemical Company
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Eli Lilly and Company
American Chamber of Commerce in Russia Ford Motor Company*
U.S.-Russia Business Council General Electric
  Intel Corporation
  International Paper
  Procter & Gamble*
* Committee Co-Chair
 

Coalition Sponsors
 
Citigroup Delta Private Equity Partners Exxon Mobil Corporation
Federal Express The Coca-Cola Company Trion Specialty Gases, LLC
 
General Members
Alcoa BP America Inc. Case New Holland
Cisco Systems, Inc. ConocoPhillips Daimler Chrysler Corp.
Deere & Company DuPont Express Delivery & Logistics Association
General Motors International Business-Government Counsellors, Inc. (IBC) Oracle Corporation
PepsiCo, Inc. Salans Squire Sanders & Dempsey
United Technologies Corporation William T. Robinson, PLLC

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