For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 13, 2001
Jackson-Vanik and Russia Fact Sheet
Jackson-Vanik and Russia
The Administration has begun consultations with Congress and interested groups on the possibility of graduating Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
The Jackson-Vanik Amendment is contained in Title IV of the 1974 Trade Act. It effectively denies unconditional normal trade relations to certain countries, including Russia, that had non-market economies and that restricted emigration rights. Normal trade relations may be extended, on a conditional basis, to a country subject to the law only if the President determines that it complies with the freedom of emigration requirements of the amendment. Semi-annual reports on continued compliance of that country must be submitted to Congress. The President may also waive the emigration requirements.
Since 1994, Russia has been found in compliance with the Amendment's freedom of emigration requirements. It continues to be subject to semi-annual compliance reviews. Ending the application of the Jackson-Vanik provisions to Russia requires legislation by Congress. This is a prerequisite to the extending unconditional or permanent normal trade relations to Russia.
Jackson-Vanik has been an extraordinary success in securing freedom of emigration in the Soviet Union and its successor states. Since 1975, 573,000 refugees -- many of them Jews, evangelical Christians and Catholics -- from areas of the former Soviet Union have been resettled in the United States. The Russian Jewish community in the United States today numbers between 750,000 and 1 million, though some estimates are twice as high. An estimated 1 million more Jews have immigrated to Israel during that time. For fiscal year 2001, 3,875 refugees from Russia were resettled.
The United States continues to engage in a dialogue with Russia on emigration and other human rights, both bilaterally and multilaterally. We continue to report on emigration and the status of human rights in the annual reports on human rights and international religious freedom. Bilateral assistance programs are also used to promote respect for human rights and development of civil society.
# # #