Categorized | Trade

House passes Russia trade bill. But will we benefit?


They still have not learned.  They buy the “sunshine and roses” predictions of every new trade deal conceptualized, and ignore the math afterwords because it does not fit the talking points.

The House of Representatives passed a Permanent Normalized Trade Relations bill as to Russia last week.  The vote was 365 to 43.

The debate was whether to keep human rights restrictions in place against Russia.

Attached to the trade legislation is a provision that seeks to punish Russians who are implicated in human rights abuses. Inspired by the case of Sergei L. Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was tortured and died in prison after he investigated government corruption, the bill would allow the United States to deny visas to Russian officials who are deemed abusers and to freeze their assets.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted swiftly and angrily on Friday to the House vote, calling it “a flagrantly unfriendly and provocative step,” and pledged to retaliate.

The debate should have been whether the U.S. would benefit. For those of you who remember the 1999 debate of permanent normalized trade relations with China, as part of their entry into the WTO, all the predictions of U.S. economic benefit were drastically and painfully wrong.  We were supposed to benefit by exporting to their one billion-plus population.  Instead, China is draining $1 billion every day from the U.S. through trade cheating and the resulting trade imbalance.

There are similar predictions for Russian joining the WTO.  From the article linked above:

Some experts estimate that the eased trade restrictions could double the amount of American exports flowing to Russia to $19 billion in five years.

Russia has state-managed capitalism.  Gazprom and other national champion companies are directly or indirectly controlled by the state.  We certainly have not yet figured out how to deal with China’s version of state-managed capitalism.

Similarly, we are getting economically drubbed by Korea after implementing the trade agreement with that country last March.

In a report on U.S. trade with South Korea, the [Joint Economic Committee of Congress] pointed out, “Since the free trade agreement was implemented in March 2012, imports from South Korea have increased while exports to South Korea have decreased.”

Will they ever learn?


One Response to “House passes Russia trade bill. But will we benefit?”

  1. Dan DiFabio says:

    I am shocked because of the number of House Democrats that voted for this bill.There are more fair trade Democrats than fair trade Republicans in the House of Representatives. I would imagine that this bill would allow us to bring cheaper Russian oil into the U.S.;but I would have opposed it,if I were a Congressman.Prediction:massive trade deficit with Russia


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