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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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U.S. Congress is unprepared to rescind a law limiting trade with Russia
U.S. Congress is unprepared to rescind a law limiting trade with Russia because Moscow is making "slow progress" in its bid to join the 150-member global trade body, a senior trade official said. "The question that I get asked when it comes to Jackson-Vanik and permanent normal trade relations with Russia is, is the WTO ready to let Russia in and the answer is, 'not yet,'" U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab told a news conference in Washington Monday. The U.S. adopted the Jackson-Vanik amendment in 1974, tying trade with the former Soviet Union to the rights of Jews to emigrate from the country. The amendment, which has been lifted for many of Russia's former Communist allies, is hampering Russia's long desired accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In contrast to Schwab's statement, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez said in Moscow last week that the decision to annul the amendment would be adopted by U.S. Congress but did not specify a date. Moscow has signed bilateral protocols with all but four WTO members and is yet to complete multilateral talks with its trade partners within the organization, which Russia hopes to join by the end of the year.
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