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House Passes Legislation Establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations With Russia and Moldova and Allowing Sanctions for Gross Violations of Human Rights in Russia

November 16, 2012

Washington, DC  – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) made the following statements after the House passed legislation that grants Russia and Moldova permanent normal trade relations (PNTR).  The legislation also imposes sanctions on persons identified as responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and for other gross violations of human rights in Russia.

This bipartisan legislation passed by a vote of 365-43.

Chairman Camp stated: “PNTR with Russia will increase exports and will help create economic growth and jobs here at home.  Additionally, it will give us a powerful new enforcement tool and will require Russia to comply with WTO rules.  As a supporter of the Magnitsky provision, I am pleased we were also able to include this language because it sends a strong message to Russia that human rights transgressions will not be tolerated.  I urge the Senate to act quickly and pass this important bipartisan legislation so we do not lose out to our foreign competitors.”  

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady said: “Russia’s recent accession to the WTO provides an opening for us to take advantage of Russia’s rapidly growing market and create U.S. jobs.  However, without this legislation, we will be sitting on the sidelines, letting our competitors reap all of the benefits.  I strongly support this bipartisan bill.”  

H.R. 6156, The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012:

  • Ensures that U.S. employers, workers, farmers, and ranchers benefit from Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) by removing Russia from the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment and establishing PNTR.  
  • Contains provisions to address concerns about Russia’s compliance with its WTO obligations, resolve bilateral trade issues between the United States and Russia, and promote the rule of law in Russia.  
  • Establishes PNTR with Moldova.  
  • Holds accountable those Russian government officials and others who participated in the arrest, murder, or cover-up of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky or who benefited from his death.  
  • Requires that those responsible for the death, torture, or repression of individuals investigating crimes by Russian government officials, or who were simply trying to exercise their basic human rights, be publicly named and sanctioned.  
  • Strikes directly at Russian officials and others who violate human rights by denying them visas and freezing their financial assets in the United States.