Feb. 10, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Russia Trade Bill Still Faces Obstacle in Senate

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Cardin, the author and lead champion of the original Magnitsky bill, has been adamant that the final legislation should be global in application.

“Russia has roughly 142 million consumers and is the world’s sixth-largest economy in terms of purchasing power, offering much potential for American businesses,” the group noted. And it highlighted the fact that of all the WTO members, the United States is the only one not “fully benefitting from the market-opening concessions Russia made as part of its WTO membership.”

The push for speedy action from the business community increases the pressure for compromise. Cardin said last week that he planned to continue to talk with key members and make his pitch.

He points the finger at House Republican leaders for the continued standoff, saying it was his understanding that they were the ones who refused to budge from the House language. “The Democratic leadership told me they would support the Senate bill,” he said.

Ultimately, Cardin will need the backing of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the Senate Democratic leadership, which will decide what form of the bill to bring to the floor, possibly next week.

“I certainly want to see a bill passed, so I’ll be working in a very constructive way,” Cardin said.

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