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28 Apr, 2010 06:48

US Congress could chicken out of repealing Jackson-Vanik amendment

US lawmakers are trying to finally put the Cold War to rest by lifting the last obstacle for unlimited trade between Moscow and Washington that prevents Russia from joining the World Trade Organization.

Many American lawmakers believe the time is now to put this relic of the past to rest, but some nagging doubts remain.

US Congress has intensified talks on whether or not to lift sanctions signed 35 years ago which limit trade between Russia and the US – the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment – remains is, unlike such relics of the Cold War like arms race or space race, is safe and sound.

“The Jackson-Vanik amendment was enacted into law for the intention of protecting the rights of Jews attempting to emigrate from the former Soviet Union in the 1970s,” announced Elton Gallegly, US Congressman, (R-California).

The problem is that the Soviet Union no longer exists and neither do Jewish immigration problems.

“It makes sense to waive the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. It is time for the United States Congress to act,” US Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA, Chairman of Committee on Foreign Affairs) demanded.

The US congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with other analysts, is still debating whether or not it should just be repealed.

“The question is to be or not to be. To do or not to do. Do we pass it or we don’t? That’s the question,” told RT US Congressman David Scott (D-Georgia), adding that “My answer to that is, to be!”

“When it comes to Jackson-Vanik, let’s tear down this wall. It is about time that this ancient relic of the Cold War be discarded,” shared his opinion US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-California).

“My advice to you all is do not repeal it. Keep it in the tool bag,” pleaded President of Project Judaica Foundation Mark Talisman.

“The Jackson-Vanik amendment has a proud and honorable past, but it has sunk into a state of purposelessness and confusion,” pinpointed Stephen Sestanovich, Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations.

“We believe the Administration and Congress should move forward on graduation for Russia,” demanded Mark B. Levin from National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

To put the controversial piece of legislation to rest has been the question posed throughout the entire hearing. Observers, however, say that the real debate could stem from, of all things, chicken.

If it were not for poultry, there would be almost no problem getting rid of Jackson-Vanik, because apparently the white meat is somehow tied to emigration and human rights.

The founder and President of the World Russia Forum Edward D. Lozansky, Ph.D., revealed that “There were some members of Congress, especially from the states who produce poultry, they raise objections that Russia does not buy enough of American poultry,” he said, adding that it is not just chicken that counts.

“There are many interest groups that don’t like Russia for many reasons.”