Microsoft welcomes today’s vote in the Senate to approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia and Moldova. We look forward to President Obama’s signature on this important legislation. The Russian Federation and Moldova are already Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and today’s action ensures that America now will be able to take advantage of the benefits of their joining the WTO, and the enforcement of the rule of law in key areas such as Intellectual Property Rights protection and Services, which are the key to our economy’s future competitiveness.
This has been a lengthy and important negotiation led by many U.S. Trade Representatives and officials across the Executive Branch of Government through many Administrations, including Senators Portman and Senator Johanns, among others. Microsoft salutes their work and the strong leadership of Chairman Baucus and Senator Hatch, Chairman Camp and Representative Levin and their staffs to build strong bipartisan support for PNTR Passage as it opens a new chapter for America’s trade relations with these two countries. This vote represents an important milestone as we look ahead to the trade agenda for 2013. Microsoft looks forward to working with Members on a robust trade agenda and new initiatives when the Congress returns in January.