Dreier: Support Russia trade bill even though Putin is 'not a good guy'

"And that's why it's very important … that the United States of America be at the table as part of the WTO's effort to force Russia to live with the rules-based trading system."

The House this week is expected to pass H.R. 6156, a bill giving Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status with the United States. This status is needed if the U.S. is to benefit from the trade concessions Russia agreed to when it joined the World Trade Organization over the summer.

Dreier said benefiting from these concessions would help the U.S. double its exports to Russia from $11 billion last year to $22 billion by 2017.

To Dreier's point about Putin, the bill also includes language that would withhold U.S. visas from Russian officials involved in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 after being held and allegedly tortured by Russian officials.

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