Posted by: mulrickillion | December 12, 2011

Trading with the Bear: Why Russia’s Entry into the WTO Is in America’s Interest

By Daniel Griswold and Douglas Petersen

Cato Institute – Free Trade Bulletin, No. 46, December 6, 2011 —

[Synopsis]: The United States should not forfeit the economic benefits of freer trade with Russia to uphold an outdated policy rooted in the Cold War.

[An excerpt from the Article reads]:

Russia is poised to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), solidifying its transition from a closed communist economy to a full participant in the global marketplace. The only question is whether the United States will embrace Russia as a fellow WTO member or forfeit the benefits for the sake of an outdated policy rooted in the Cold War.

Russia’s petition to join the WTO dates back to 1993. Since that time it has negotiated accession agreements with all major WTO members, including the United States, committing to open its economy further and to accept WTO rules on nondiscrimination, dispute settlement, intellectual property, and a range of other trade-related issues. WTO members are expected to approve Russia’s admission at the organization’s ministerial meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, December 15–17. To enjoy the enhanced access to Russia’s market, the U.S. government will need to grant permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to the Russian Federation. Under the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, Congress is required annually to pass a special exemption for Russia extending it conditional access to the U.S. market. The law was originally intended to withhold normal-trade-relations status from communist countries that did not allow Jewish citizens to freely emigrate. Even after the fall the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the law continued to apply to most former communist countries because of their continued status as "nonmarket economies". . . .

>>Download the PDF of Free Trade Bulletin, No. 46 (387 KB)

>>View this Free Trade Bulletin in HTML here

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