U.S. Urged to Extend Mfn to Rumania for Another Year

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged the United States to extend Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status to Rumania for another year despite the concerns the Conference continues to voice over the delays in processing Jewish emigration from Rumania.

Testifying on behalf of the Conference, Jack Spitzer, president of B’nai B’rith International, told a House Trade Subcommittee yesterday that although it continues to be concerned about the long delays embodied in Rumania’s emigration procedures, the Conference believes that Most Favored Nation status for that country “has proven to be beneficial to the Rumanian Jewish community and to the United States.

“The existence of MFN has undoubtedly made it easier for Rumania to maintain a more independent foreign policy than other East European countries,” Spitzer testified.

He noted that the Presidents Conference and the Rumanian government had reached an accord in 1979 that established a mechanism permitting the Conference to monitor the progress of would-be emigres and creating the hope for a speedup. “Unfortunately this had not completely eliminated burdensome procedures that discourage emigration, which must be the ultimate test of the agreement,” Spitzer declared.

The B’nai B’rith leader noted that a number of “difficult cases” had been resolved but that there existed a significant backlog of cases which have been brought to the attention of the Rumanian government.” Spitzer pointed out that, on the other hand, the rate of passport approvals for May and June were “comparatively-high, ” indicating that the Rumanians “can expedite (their) procedures when motivated to do so.”

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