A group of U.S. senators has introduced a bill to repeal the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment for Russia, whose trade relations with the United States are dependent on the rights of Russian Jews to emigrate freely.*
The lawmakers said the move to establish "permanent normal trade relations" (PNTR) with Russia will boost U.S. exports to Russia and create jobs.
Russia is set to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) also urged quick passage of the Magnitsky Act, which seeks to punish Russian officials for human rights abuses.
“As we take steps to liberalize U.S. trade with Russia...we must also maintain our long-standing support for human rights and the fight against corruption in Russia,” McCain said.
* CORRECTED to clarify that the proposed legislative change would eliminate Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions specifically for Russia.
Based on reporting by Reuters and "The Wall Street Journal"