WASHINGTON (Jun. 29)
Rumania’s Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) status was suspended for six months Friday in protest of Rumania’s record on human rights and emigration. The Senate vote was seen also as a rebuke of the Reagan Administration.
Jewish groups had argued strongly against the action and registered dismay at the Senate vote because of concern over Rumania’s cooperation in permitting Jewish emigration. “The Senate action is a mistake,” said Seymour Reich, president of B’nai B’rith International, who arrived in Bucharest Friday for talks with Rumanian officials. He charged the move “eliminates an incentive for Rumania to improve human rights and may jeopardize the flow of immigrants to the U.S., Germany and Israel.”
Most-Favored-Nation status allows normal duties on a nation’s exports to the U.S. Although extended to most U.S. trading partners, MFN is given to only four Communist countries other than Rumania — China, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Poland.