Jeopardizing Competitiveness Of U.S. Businesses In Russia

June 05, 2012

U.S. businesses are eager to benefit from Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization once the Russian State Duma ratifies the membership terms, as expected this summer. As various U.S. Senate committees are holding hearings to decide whether to support graduating Russia from the controversial Jackson-Vanik amendment and to extend to Russia permanent normal trade relations status, a number of major U.S. companies, trade organizations and even Russian political opposition leaders are lobbying Congress to remove Russia from the outdated Soviet-era trade restrictions.

If the Jackson-Vanik amendment is still on the books when Russia officially becomes a member of the WTO, U.S. companies risk missing out on the benefits and protections that the liberalization of trade relations with the world’s ninth-largest economy brings, especially as U.S. companies are eagerly looking to expand into new markets amid slow growth at home and in other developed markets. This article examines the issues.