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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

Category: Russia trade
March 26, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The G-8 minus 1 — does it matter?

The G-8, which just suspended Russia, was intended to be a forum for the world’s leading industrialized nations. Its origins were in the turbulent 1970s, the decade of oil shocks and stagflagion. The United States teamed up with Britain, Germany and France, then added Japan, Italy and Canada. In 1998, Russia formally joined and the…

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Comments | More in Russia trade | Topics: Ukraine crisis

August 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Russia and the WTO

Rejoice trolls: I’m back. I spent my summer vacation in a beautiful place (downtown Seattle) working on my next mystery novel and writing the forward to an academic book. Now, to work. While I was gone, Russia became a member of the World Trade Organization. Northwest trade advocates are enthusiastic about the possibilities. In 2011, the Russian Federation was America’s No. 31 trade partner, at $8.3 billion. It was No. 28 for Washington with $445 million in exports, up from $260 million in 2005. Half of that is transportation equipment, i.e. jets.

This will almost certainly rise, especially if the United States repeals the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment. Boeing could be a big winner. Still, as Business Week pointed out, Russia remains a tough place to do business. It ranked 120th in the World Bank’s list of ease of doing business.

Inconvenient for the boosters is the two-year prison sentences meted out against three members of the punk band Pussy Riot (can I write that in a family newspaper?) for a protest held on the steps of a church. It’s a forceful reminder that under Czar Vladimir Putin, Russia has a, let us say, casual approach to human rights.

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Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing, Pacific Northwest economy, Russia trade, Trade