Thursday, December 6, 2012

Russian government protects corrupt officials, says Senator Wicker

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi was granted permission to address the United States Senate to argue in favor of H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.

“I come to the floor today to support this bill. It has a very important twofold purpose: It approves normal trade relations with Russia, and at the same time the legislation insists that the Russian government adhere to the rule of law. It does so by putting consequences in place for those in Russia who abuse basic human rights. Granting PNTR to Russia is a big win for Americans. If Congress does not act, American workers, including millions employed by small businesses, stand to lose out to foreign competitors as Russia opens its market as a new member of the WTO.”

“Many in my home State of Mississippi and around the country deserve to benefit from increased trade that this new relationship would bring. More jobs and greater economic growth are our potential rewards here in the United States. Last year Mississippi's $55 million in exports to Russia helped support an estimated 170 jobs. Certainly this number needs to grow, and I believe it will under this legislation”, he said.

“Yet in realizing the immense trade potential at hand, we cannot ignore the urgent need to address serious concerns about Russia's appalling human rights record. Most agree that the Jackson-Vanik amendment currently in place is an outdated restriction on trade which could hurt American competitiveness. But repeal alone will not suffice when dealing with a country that continues to protect corrupt officials, and that is what the Russian government continues to do”, said Wicker (source: Congressional Record ).

Here is what Senator Wickers said about Russia last year (see video: Wicker Speaks on Senate Floor Regarding Russian Human Rights Abuses ).

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