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Jackson Warning on His Amendment

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Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash) warned today that some members of the Senate are attempting to circumvent the Jackson Amendment to the U.S. Foreign Trade Act which links American trade and financial transactions with the Soviet Union to the latter’s easing of its restrictions on emigration and general compliance with human rights agreements. He urged that such measures must be defeated on the Senate floor or in the realm of public opinion “if personal persuasion doesn’t work.”

Jackson, author of the amendment that bears his name, addressed the national leadership conference of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) here. “Right now efforts are underway by some Senators to try to grant credits to the Soviet Union and other non-market countries with no quid pro quo whatsoever in freer emigration,” he said. “We must resist these efforts. We must persuade their proponents if possible, and defeat them on the Senate floor or in the contest of public opinion if personal persuasion doesn’t work.”

Jackson said “The underlying logic” of his amendment was the proposition “to the Soviets that they relax their restrictions on emigration and that we, in turn, relax our restrictions on access to our market and credit. They have so far refused our offer. So we must do the same. We must continue to withhold credits and most-favored-nation status. To do otherwise would be to throw in the towel. . . The Soviets can’t have the economic benefits they desire without giving anything in return.”

According to Jackson, “the Soviet economy is bleak” in most vital areas and they “stagger under a military budget that takes twice as much of their resources as our budget takes of ours.” He observed that “As the Soviet economy deteriorates, the continued practice of repressive emigration becomes increasingly costly.” Therefore, he said, “We can afford to be patient until the Soviets recognize where their real interests lie. The Jackson Amendment constitutes just the sort of leverage that we ought to be using on behalf of basic human liberties.”

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