WASHINGTON (Aug. 25)
Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D., Conn.), was reported Friday to have told the Senate Finance Committee that “we are very close to an agreement” on a unified United States position on Soviet emigration policy and Soviet-American trade relations. The committee is responsible for drafting a trade bill that involves Soviet-American relations.
At the same time, Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.), said that serious economic problems in the Soviet Union is the reason for prospects of an early agreement. Jackson said there had been “a substantial change of position” by the Soviets on the issue because “they are in real economic trouble.” He said he hoped an agreement could be completed when Congress returns from its Labor Day recess.
Ribicoff, Jackson and Sen. Jacob K. Javits R. N.Y.), met a week ago with President Ford after the President had conferred with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. The three senators have been meeting regularly with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger in an effort to work out a compromise on the Jackson Amendment.
According to Capitol Hill sources, an exchange of correspondence is to take place between the key senators and either Ford or Kissinger before the committee concludes its work on the trade reform bill. Prior to Ford’s succession to the Presidency, these exchanges were centered between Kissinger and Senate leaders.