Sen. Kyl takes strong stand against top Obama administration trade priority

The Hill

The number two Republican in the Senate on Thursday threw a wrench into White House plans for quick passage of a Russia trade bill.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) flagged his opposition to granting Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR). The Russia bill is the top trade priority of the Obama administration this year.

Russia is slated to join the World Trade Organization this summer. If Congress does not repeal the so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment, a Cold War-era law which makes trade relations conditional on Russia allowing free emigration, Russia will be allowed to retaliate against U.S. exporters.

“I think that I understand the message this hearing is meant to convey: ‘American businesses want access to Russian markets. We should repeal Jackson-Vanik and grant Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations without delay and without conditions. It’s a slam dunk.’ But it isn’t a slam dunk,” Kyl told a Finance Committee hearing.

He then listed economic and human rights reasons to hold up Jackson-Vanik repeal. Kyl said Russia should ratify a bilateral investment treaty with the U.S.

He noted Russia’s problematic history of enforcing intellectual property rights and said that allowing China to join the WTO has not worked out well for the U.S.

“Twelve years ago, Congress repealed Jackson-Vanik and authorized PNTR for China,” he said. “How did that work out?”

Congress lifted provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment applying to China before that nation’s entry to the WTO in 2001.

“When the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, suggests that there is no association between a country’s respect for individual liberties and its business environment , he is simply denying reality,” Kyl went on.

Kyl signaled he wants Congress to pass a bill that would punish those responsible for the murder of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

“Contrary to the administration’s assertions, Russia is moving further away from international norms and values. In recent months, Moscow has not only blocked UN Security Council action on Syria, but has continued to sell arms to Assad’s regime, which is responsible for the slaughter of innocent civilians,” Kyl said.

Kyl’s comments came after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) urged passage of the Russia bill. He argued that at this point Russia is joining the WTO regardless of what the U.S. does, and holding up Jackson-Vanik repeal will only hurt U.S. farmers and manufacturers. payday loan unshaven girls https://zp-pdl.com/how-to-get-fast-payday-loan-online.php https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно

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