Time to Upgrade Trade With Russia

Hillary Clinton: Congress must ditch outdated amendment
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2012 1:24 PM CDT
Time to Upgrade Trade With Russia
President Obama listens to Vladimir Putin before the opening of the first plenary session of the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

With Russia finally due to enter the World Trade Organization, Hillary Clinton is urging the US to take a hard look at its own trade policy. A 1970s law currently prevents us from normal trade with Moscow, but at this point, that legislation is hurting only us. The Jackson-Vanik amendment limits our trade with countries that have cracked down on emigration rights; the amendment, which was key to aiding Jews who wanted to leave the Soviet Union, has "served its historic purpose," the secretary of state writes in the Wall Street Journal. "Now it's time to set it aside."

While some argue that it offers "leverage" against Russian policies, the fact is that even Russia's opposition opposes it. It's become a hindrance to the US economy. Indeed, "extending permanent normal trading relations isn't a gift to Russia. It is a smart, strategic investment in one of the fastest growing markets for US goods and services," Clinton writes. In short, by boosting trade with Moscow, "we can create new markets for our people and support the political and economic changes that Russia's people are demanding." Click through for Clinton's full piece. (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)

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