WASHINGTON (Jan. 7)
Soviet-American detente “is not over,” the State Department emphasized yesterday. The superpowers’ relationship arose when Department spokesman Robert Anderson was asked whether. Moscow’s attacks on the newly-legislated Trade Reform Act meant the termination of detente. Anderson replied, “No, detente is not over.” He said he was aware from the Soviet public statements that it would raise questions on the trade legislation that President Ford signed into law Jan, 3. “For instance,” Anderson said, “the eighteen-month restriction. This does raise questions.”
His reference was to the period in the Jackson-Vanik section of the trade law that calls on the President to report to Congress 18 months after he grants the Soviet government most favored nation trade treatment whether the USSR is meeting the assurances Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has written he has received on future Soviet emigration practices.
When the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted that Kissinger gave the 18-month factor as an example and not the ceiling of $300 million in loans to the Soviets over four years under the new Export-Import Bank loan. Anderson said that also was “a question that will have to be discussed.”
The State Department had previously, described the ceiling on credits as “absolutely discriminatory.” This ceiling appeared to be Moscow’s major complaint on the trade and loan laws affecting the Soviet government, The Kremlin is known to have expected U.S. credits up to $8 billion as well as technological assistance under the 1972 trade agreement it had initialed with former President Nixon.
In recent days the USSR has made known that it feels the United States has broken that agreement which has been under fire in Congress even before it was formally announced in October, 1972 That agreement was subject to Congressional ratification. It came in amended form in the trade bill signed by President Ford last Friday.