The potential benefits to the US economy from Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are substantial, but the United States can enjoy them only if it grants Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status—by repealing application to Russia of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. While congressional approval is not necessary for completion of Russian accession to the WTO, Congress needs to grant Russia PNTR to make it possible for US companies to take full advantage of the best available conditions of access to the Russian market for both trade and investment.
Åslund and Hufbauer calculate that US exports to Russia could double over the next five years—from $9 billion in 2010 to $19 billion—adding jobs in the services, agriculture, manufacturing, and high-tech sectors. More generally, with Russia's accession to the WTO and the United States granting PNTR to Russia, US-Russia commercial relations will be set on a sounder and friendlier footing, facilitating cooperation on national security and political issues. By strengthening the rules-based global trading system, WTO accession and PNTR will discourage Russia from undertaking protectionist measures.
President Barack Obama has stated that he looks forward to working with Congress "to end the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia in order to ensure that American firms and American exporters will enjoy the same benefits of Russian WTO membership as their international competitors." It is imperative that Congress respond constructively in the same spirit of bipartisanship that led to the successful approval earlier this year of the Colombia, Korea, and Panama trade accords. Political wrangling, misjudgment, and miscalculations must not be allowed to cost the United States a significant new source of economic growth and cooperation in the future.
View full document [pdf]
A Breakthrough on Trade with Russia November 15, 2011
New Trade Status for Russia Faces Delay December 5, 2011
Breakthrough on Approval of a Trade Accord with Russia July 18, 2012
Policy Brief 12-21: How Can Trade Policy Help America Compete? October 2012
Policy Brief 11-8: What Should the United States Do about Doha? June 2011
Book: The Long-Term International Economic Position of the United States April 2009
Op-ed: Trade: An Opportunity About to Be Lost? May 20, 2011
Op-ed: New Imbalances Will Threaten Global Recovery June 10, 2010
Op-ed: How Best to Boost US Exports February 3, 2010
Op-ed: Cooling the Planet Without Chilling Trade November 13, 2009
Paper: Submission to the USTR in Support of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement January 25, 2010
Working Paper 09-2: Policy Liberalization and US Merchandise Trade Growth, 1980–2006 May 2009
Policy Brief 09-2: Buy American: Bad for Jobs, Worse for Reputation February 2009
Paper: Report to the President-Elect and the 111th Congress on A New Trade Policy for the United States December 17, 2008
Book: American Trade Politics, 4th edition June 2005
Op-ed: The Payoff from Globalization June 7, 2005
Policy Brief 08-5: World Trade at Risk May 2008