Posts Tagged ‘kik’

June 2012

USTR’s Kirk, Rep. Camp Call For Russia Trade Bill Without Human Rights

Wall Street Journal

Obama administration officials and a key House Republican Wednesday issued a similar message to Congress on the urgency of lifting trade restrictions on Russia, saying the bill should be passed quickly and without including human rights or other provisions.

However, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means committee said the so-called “Magnitsky” bill punishing Russian human-rights violators should be included in any trade legislation, while arguing that the House should hold up on approving the bill until Russia takes steps to help contain the conflict in Syria.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told the House panel that lawmakers should act by Aug. 22 or risk putting U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage when Russia formally joins the World Trade Organization by that date.

“Our priority is for Congress to terminate the Cold-War era Jackson-Vanik amendment as it applies to Russia in a clean bill that enables us to maintain our competitive edge,” Mr. Kirk said in prepared remarks at the hearing. Repealing Jackson-Vanik, a 1974 measure that prevents the U.S. from granting most-favored-nation status to countries that restrict emigration, won’t be a “gift” to Russia, he insisted.

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