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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:22 PM

Senate Passes Russian Trade Bill, With a Human Rights Caveat

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to finally eliminate cold war-era trade restrictions on Russia, but at the same time it condemned Moscow for human rights abuses, threatening to further strain an already delicate relationship with the Kremlin.

In a statement issued after the Senate vote, the White House mentioned the human rights component of the bill only in passing, instead emphasizing that the president was looking forward to signing a measure that would level the playing field for American workers.

In August Russia joined the World Trade Organization. As part of its pact with the trade group, Russia lowered tariffs for other member countries, but only those that granted it normal trade relations.

Initially the Senate faced some pressure to pass a bill that punished human rights violators from all nations, not just those who are Russian. But the House bill applied only to Russia. And the Senate followed suit, as supporters of the bill wanted something that would pass quickly and not require a complicated back-and-forth with the House.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/business/global/senate-passes-russian-trade-bill-with-conditions.html?_r=0

Sherrie Brown voted for this so it must be better than some others.

"“For too long, both Democratic and Republican administrations have negotiated trade agreements that undermine – rather than maximize – American job creation," Brown said in a statement his office released after the Senate approved the measure 92 to 4. The Russia trade treaty "learns from some of the mistakes of China PNTR and includes enhanced compliance and accountability measures to ensure that Russia meets its commitments—which will help expand export opportunities for American manufacturers and farmers.""


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Reply Senate Passes Russian Trade Bill, With a Human Rights Caveat (Original post)
pampango Dec 2012 OP
go west young man Dec 2012 #1
dipsydoodle Dec 2012 #2
Nihil Dec 2012 #3

Response to pampango (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:47 AM

1. Once gain we look like idiots in the worlds eyes.


This is a single case and it involves a small amount of corrupt people. Yet we collectively punish the Russian federation? What about our own dealings with Kazakhstan where people were boiled to death yet we bargained with them so we could land our military there. What about our Iraq War where 100,000 innocent people have died? Where is their justice? Technically Russia could arrest any visiting US service member as they are complicit in human rights violations against innocent Iraqi's. The US looks ridiculous in this matter as usual. Even more so as two of our biggest trading partners are Saudi Arabia and China. The Russian press will have a hey day making us look stupid with this one.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:30 AM

2. US Congress passes 'Magnitsky' rule on Russia trade law

Under the bill, the US would withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian officials thought to have been involved with human rights violations.

In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry called the law "a performance in the theatre of the absurd".

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the lower house of parliament's international affairs committee, told news agency Itar-Tass that Moscow could pass a "corresponding law".


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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:38 AM

3. Totally expected ...


> Moscow could pass a "corresponding law".

Wait for the Senate to reflect for a moment on whether the partners of the other trade agreements that
the USA has - basically the rest of the world - will apply the same criteria in return ... and then see
if they will still bask proudly in what their pathetic melodramatics have "achieved" here ...

"Short-sighted & petty" is far too kind a description for this waste of time.

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