The Dow Chemical Company congratulates the United States House of Representatives for their strong bipartisan action to pass Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia. “PNTR means that American companies have a level playing field to access Russia’s fast-growing markets, which creates new opportunities for exports and ensures that U.S. manufacturers benefit from Russia’s now confirmed membership in the global rules-based trading system,” stated Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. “Dow urges the Senate to move forward quickly and vote in favor of PNTR and thereby demonstrate their commitment to American manufacturers, job creation and export promotion.”
Russia has tremendous potential as an export market for American goods, services and technologies, and as an investment destination. Russia’s World Trade Organization (WTO) accession commitments call for a wide range of market access opportunities, including: reducing tariffs, eliminating barriers and streamlining government and customs bureaucracy. Even further, membership in the WTO commits Russia to the international dispute settlement regimes, establishes concrete commitments to rule of law and tangible enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Russia became the 156th member of the WTO in August of this year. However, in the eighty plus days since Russia became a member of the WTO, all other countries are realizing these benefits, while U.S. companies continue to lose their competitive advantage. Immediate passage of the PNTR with Russia is critical to ensure American companies can compete equally.
Dow has a significant and sustained interest in growing operations in Russia. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of about $770 million (USD) and employed approximately 260 highly qualified specialists in this vibrant market. The WTO supports the types of investment opportunities we are already looking to create, including: sustaining and creating new American jobs, fostering innovation, expanding export opportunities, and most importantly, protecting our foreign investments.
For U.S. companies like Dow to compete in Russia, we need a level playing field. The action taken by the House is the first step in leveling the playing field for American companies, and securing these benefits for the American economy and we urge the Senate to confirm this commitment to American exports and job creation.
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