Home > Congressional Research Service, international relations, Russia, trade > CRS — Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

CRS — Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

January 31, 2013

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

U.S.-Russian trade is governed by Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, which sets conditions on Russia’s normal trade relations (NTR), or nondiscriminatory, status, including the “freedom-ofemigration” requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment (section 402). Changing Russia’s trade status to unconditional NTR or “permanent normal trade relations status (PNTR)” requires legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV as they apply to Russia and authorize the President to grant Russia PNTR by proclamation. On November 16, 2012, the House passed (365-43), and on December 6, 2012, the Senate passed (92-4) H.R. 6156, which does just that, among other things. The legislation also included provisions—the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012—that impose sanctions on individuals linked to the incarceration and death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. H.R. 6156 also authorizes PNTR status for Moldova. President Obama signed the legislation into law on December 14, 2012.

PNTR for Russia became an issue for the 112th Congress because, on August 22, 2012, Russia joined the WTO after having completed a 19-year accession process. The WTO requires each member to accord newly acceding members “immediate and unconditional” most-favored-nation (MFN) status, or PNTR. In order to comply with WTO rules, the United States has to extend PNTR to Russia.

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