WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) helped pass bipartisan legislation today to provide permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to Russia. Doing so will ensure that Russia is held accountable for its actions and that American exports are treated fairly. The new status will permanently reduce tariff and non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. goods and services, which will boost exports and create jobs in Connecticut.

"Permanently normalizing our trade relations with Russia will provide local companies with the certainty they need to do business with that nation, allowing them to plan better and create more jobs here in Connecticut,” said Himes. “By entering into free trade with Russia, dozens of exporters right here in Southwest Connecticut will benefit from a newly opened market.”

Nearly 500,000 jobs in Connecticut depend on exports, and numerous Connecticut businesses will benefit from free trade with Russia. General Electric, which is headquartered in Fairfield, has been active in Russia since the 1920’s. With PNTR status granted, GE will be able to supply engines for the nearly 900 planes Russia plans to purchase over the next 20 years and help the nation upgrade nearly 10,000 locomotives (valued at $10 billion). Without PNTR, GE considers itself at a disadvantage vis-à-vis competitors in other nations.

Locally-based companies that already do business with Russia include Creative Trade Group of Stamford, which exports motorboats to Russia; Muehlstein of Wilton, which exports plastics to Russia; Trafigura of Stamford, which in 2010 exported more than $8 million worth of chemical products to Russia; Van Luin Food Group of Stamford, which exports poultry and food products to Russia; and Xerox of Norwalk, which has 5,000 sales partners across Russia. By granting Russia PNTR status, the U.S. will allow these and other businesses to do business with Russia without the burden of higher tariffs than their competitors from other countries.


Russia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August 2012 after an 18-year process. The WTO requires each member to provide newly-joined members with “most favored nation” status, known as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) in the US. Failure to grant Russia normal trade relations would put the U.S. at an economic disadvantage against all of its international competitors in the WTO.

Currently, the United States has granted Russia conditional normal trade relations (NTR) status, but not PNTR. NTR status for Russia has been extended every year since 1994.