Friday, January 27, 2012

Repealing the ridiculously-outdated Jackson-Vanik Amendment

A little more progress today. I'm still deciding on whether to use oils for the final details because I seemed to be ok handling the details in acrylic although there were issues with the drying time. I got a feeling I might finish this painting way before mid-February. And speaking of time...

Not much to comment at this point; just a continuation of what I was doing in the last post.

...according to US Ambassador Michael McFaul, they're finally considering repealing the awfully outdated Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Yay! But this was long, long, long overdue. So much that the US realized it was hurting trade relations. In some way anyway. If goods don't cross borders, soldiers will. And we came pretty damn close to WWIII with the Cold War.
"[Jackson-Vanik] has been on the books for 40 years, its specific aims have been achieved, and it is standing in the way of what we think are some really important benefits we would get from Russia's World Trade Organization membership -- and I stress that we would get [them]. This is not a gift to Russia. It is in the interests of U.S. exporters, businesses, and the United States in general." --Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Philip Gordon (link)
Jackson-Vanik was a huge issue that my late mentor, old Cold War warrior, Dr. Speller, hoped to see gone. I'm very sad that he did not live to see this day. It signified the stagnation of US-Russia relations, and the seemingly unwillingness for the US to realize that the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union. Although trade relations resumed, the symbolic existence of the amendment remained. They simply let normal trade resume under "temporary" waivers that were renewed yearly. I suppose it was easier that way.

But of course, getting Russia in the WTO at the end of this year required the bureaucrats to do something about this outdated amendment, or they'd be in trouble. Rather, if the US did not appeal it, they would be the ones at fault, not Russia. So they said, well, it's "not a gift", but was just something they should have done long ago.

About bloody time, I think.

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