DISCUS wants trade with Russia to continue growing

DISCUS wants trade with Russia to continue growing

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has welcomed a new trade agreement with Russia, saying it will accelerate spirits exports to the world's third-largest spirits market. 

The bill, which grants permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) between the two countries, was passed by the US Senate yesterday (6 December) and is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama. It follows Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation on 22 August.

“The Russia PNTR has been a long time coming and is critical for American spirits exporters to make further inroads into the expanding Russian market,” DISCUS president & CEO Peter Cressy said. “American distillers can expect to see strong growth in Russia, as well as increased jobs here in the United States.” 

US exports of distilled spirits rose  by 13% in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year, DISCUS said. Last year spirits exports from the US to Russia reached US$89.2m, up from $3.8m in 2002, DISCUS said.

Cressy said the lack of PNTR status for Russia has prevented US distillers from taking advantage of Russia’s WTO enforcement mechanisms already enjoyed by other WTO members.

In September, an analyst said Eastern Europe's expanding markets can help boost growth for Diageo.