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Business Groups Worry That Congress Will Leave Russia Trade Bill Hanging
Date: 7/30/2012
Written By: The Hill, By Vicki Needham

Excerpt: Business groups supporting Russian trade legislation are increasingly worried Congress will leave for its five-week recess before completing the measure.

… “This is a mess and it is why the USA Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council are urging this Congress and this president to get their act together right now and enact Russia PNTR [permanent normal trade relations],” Dan O’Flaherty, NFTC’s vice president, wrote in a Monday blog post.

“Otherwise, American companies will not have the advantages that our negotiators have spent 19 years gaining for them in the Russian market,” he wrote.

… If a compromise is not found this week, business groups worry action could be delayed until a lame-duck session. Lawmakers are pressed for time this week and would have only eight legislative days in September to pass a bill.

“This puts it over to a lame-duck session, when all hell may be breaking loose over sequestration and the debt ceiling, among other undone things,” O’Flaherty wrote.

“And if not lame duck, then it’s next year when we will have a new Congress and possibly a new president and we will have to start all over again — as commercial opportunities in Russia are increasingly taken by our European and Asian competitors,” he concluded.