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Kissinger: Congress’ Approval of Trade Act, Ex-im Bank Law Showed It Didn’t Understand Soviet Politi

February 4, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger today charged that Congress acted “without subtlety or understanding of Soviet politics” in adopting legislation in the Trade Act of 1974 and the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Law that linked U.S. trade benefits to the Soviet Union to Soviet emigration policy.

“The human rights issue is a matter of deep and legitimate concern to all Americans,” Kissinger told a meeting of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and the World Affairs Council of Northern California in San Francisco. “But the Congressional attempt to link it openly with economic relations without subtlety or understanding of Soviet politics, both deprived us of economic levers and sharply reduced Soviet emigration. Other industrial countries have stepped in to provide credit and technology with less concern for the objective of inducing political restraint which we had envisioned.”

This paragraph was sandwiched in Kissinger’s 16-page discourse on U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union in which he noted that “the catastrophic nature of nuclear war imposes upon us the necessity that transcends traditional concepts of diplomacy and balance of power.”

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