US lawmakers: Repeal Russian Trade Restrictions

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 1:29 PM
US lawmakers: Repeal Russian Trade Restrictions

Leading Democratic senators are calling for the repeal of a Cold War era-law that has complicated trade relations with Russia.

Without action to repeal a law known as the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, U.S. companies would be shut out of trading opportunities after Russia gains entry to the World Trade Organization this year.

At a hearing Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus warned that U.S. companies could lose business to China and European countries. Baucus's committee would have to approve legislation eliminating Jackson-Vanik before it could be considered by the full Senate. The legislation would also need to be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the president.

But the move to repeal the law faces opposition by lawmakers concerned about Russia's human rights record.