Over the past month, both the House and Senate have approved, by large, bi-partisan margins, legislation to authorize permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia (House vote of 365 to 43 and Senate vote of 92 to 4).
The Washington Council on International Trade, the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber and others have been working hard over the past year to ensure that this opportunity became a reality.
Russia is already one of our state's fastest-growing trading partners, and Washington state businesses will now be able to take full advantage of the lower tariffs and reduced trade barriers that come with Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Importantly, this legislation - which now awaits Presidential signature - received unanimous support from the Washington Congressional delegation. Once again, our state's elected officials in Congress have demonstrated their understanding of the importance of strong, pro-trade policies that increase Washington's international competitiveness.