At the end of August 2012, Russia will accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO), but Soviet-era legal restrictions prevent American businesses from benefiting from Russia’s accession. Congress is now considering legislation to repeal the “Jackson-Vanik” amendment and extend permanent Most Favored Nation Status (MFN) or Normal Trade Relations (NTR) to Russia. U.S. businesses seeking opportunities in Russia should remain engaged on this issue.
After 18 years of negotiations, on December 16, 2011, the WTO invited Russia to become a member. After the Russian parliament ratified the country’s WTO accession package on July 10, 2012 and the Federation Council gave its approval on July 18, 2012, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the protocol of accession on July 21. Russia, the sixth largest economy in the world, will officially accede to the WTO 30 days after the ratification's completion.
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