Cantwell Statement on Senate Passage of Bill to Expand Trade with Russia, Defend Human Rights

Cantwell: ‘WA companies can now sell Russia more goods like airplanes, technology & ag products that support jobs at home’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) voted to pass a bipartisan bill to bolster exports to Russia while holding human rights abusers accountable. The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 6156) passed the Senate by a 92 to 4 vote. On November 16, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.

Cantwell helped secure Senate Finance Committee approval of similar legislation (S. 3406) to normalize trade with Russia on July 18.

“This bill provides American businesses more access to the Russian market, while holding Russia accountable to human rights standards,” Cantwell said. “In working on this bill, I fought to uphold the legacy of Senator Scoop Jackson’s landmark Jackson-Vanik legislation. Jackson-Vanik changed millions of lives and bolstered human rights around the world. That’s why I fought to ensure the Magnitsky legislation was paired with increasing trade with Russia, because it will help protect human rights and hold human rights violators and corrupt officials accountable.

“By establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia, American businesses can compete in the Russian marketplace on a level playing field with our global competitors. This is critical for states like Washington, one of the largest exporters in the nation. Washington companies can now sell Russia more goods like airplanes, technology and agricultural products that support jobs at home. This bill achieves the appropriate balance between expanding trade and protecting human rights.”