For Immediate Release: June 22, 2012
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
Commerce Trade Official Calls for Expansion of U.S.-Russia Trade and Investment Relationship
Assistant Secretary Michael Camuñez Meets with U.S., Russian Companies in St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camuñez today underscored the Obama administration’s view of the importance for U.S. exporters of Russia’s upcoming accession to the World Trade Organization later this summer, and urged U.S. and Russian businesses to take advantage of the opportunities for expanding trade that this step will bring.
Camuñez addressed a meeting with U.S. company leaders organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and a “Russia-U.S. Business Dialogue” discussion during the 16th Annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“We have prioritized Russia under the National Export Initiative and have mobilized our resources to help American companies take full advantage of the opportunities that await them in Russia’s market,” Camuñez told the Russia-U.S. Business Dialogue members. “We anticipate increased engagement as we explore how to collaborate further with Russia on critical market-opening initiatives.”
The U.S.-Russia trade and investment relationship is seeing renewed prosperity. U.S. exports to Russia in 2011 increased nearly 40 percent from 2010, totaling $8.3 billion – more than double the growth rate for overall U.S. exports worldwide. U.S. imports from Russia grew to $35 billion in 2011, up 21 percent from the previous year.
“We firmly believe that establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia will create and protect U.S. jobs, open up Russia for new-to-market companies, and strengthen the rule of law in Russia,” Camuñez said to U.S. companies attending the AmCham roundtable with the U.S. Government delegation that visited the Economic Forum.
While in St. Petersburg, besides meeting with American and Russian business executives, Camuñez took part in discussions with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, and with Elvira Nabiullina, recently appointed economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also met with senior officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Justice to discuss ways that the United States and Russia can work together bilaterally and in international organizations to promote business-climate transparency and collaborate to curtail the influence of corruption.The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an annual event organized by Russia’s government, attracts a wide range of CEOs and government officials from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to discuss global business issues as well as to focus on opportunities in the Russian market.
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