WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk this week urging the Obama Administration to protect America’s national interests by fully considering the sovereignty of our ally, the Republic of Georgia, before endorsing Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We are concerned about reports that the United States may endorse Russian membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in spite of larger strategic challenges in the U.S.-Russia relationship,” the Senators wrote. “As you are well aware, the United States continues to oppose the presence of Russian troops in the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which were invaded by Russia in August 2008.”
“We believe that U.S. trade policy is as important today as it has ever been. We are not going to create jobs or grow out of our current economic problems without robust international trade and investment,” the Senators continued. “But our trade policies must always respect broad national strategic considerations.”
“Our support for Russian PNTR will be contingent on our belief that a compromise between Russia and Georgia has been reached that does not disrespect Georgia’s security considerations and future sovereignty,” the Senators concluded.