Senate Approves Jackson Amendment
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Senate Approves Jackson Amendment

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The Senate approved Friday night by a vote of 77-4 the Administration’s Foreign Trade Bill after approving the Jackson Amendment to authorize trade concessions to the Soviet Union in exchange for less restrictive emigration policies, particularly those applied to Soviet Jews.

The bill contains a wide range of provisions on tariffs and new powers for the President to act on foreign trade policies. It also would clear the way for major reductions in tariffs on products from the USSR and other Communist countries through most favored nation status.

The sudden Senate passage was made possible by a 71-9 approval of closure motion limiting debate. The House had approved a similar bill earlier but there are many technical differences between the bills which will have to be reconciled. But experts said that final passage appeared likely despite the approaching end of the current Congress.


The amendment on emigration was approved 88-0, adding language which ratifies the understanding between the U.S. and the Soviets on emigration. The amendment will allow the President to offer the Soviet Union most favored nation status for a minimum of 18 months if he certifies that Soviet emigration procedures have been liberalized.

The emigration amendment does not specify any figure for emigration but Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) said during the debate proceeding the vote that if the USSR adhered to its agreement, the number of Jews who would be able to emigrate during 1975 would top 60,000. Jackson warned that “the basis of trust and confidence” essential to all U.S.-Soviet relations would be destroyed if the Soviets failed to abide by their commitments.

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger negotiated the “understanding” on emigration with the Soviet Union and brought it to Jackson and to Senators Jacob K. Javits (R.NY) and Abraham Ribicoff (D.Conn.), which cleared the way for approval by the Senate Finance Committee.


Jackson, addressing 500 Jewish community

Noting that some officials, like Kissinger, had said that asking for unhampered emigration was interference in the Soviet Union’s internal affairs, Jackson said “Freedom is everyone’s business and the tragedy is that we did not interfere when the Holocaust went on in the 1930s.” He said both Jews and Gentiles bear a responsibility for not doing enough to prevent the Holocaust and must see to it now that it never happens again.

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