How should America deal with Russia?
August 9, 2012
There is a bill before Congress now to “normalize” trade ties with Russia.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is all for passing the legislation as it means more trade. As I have reported before, capitalism isn’t patriotic as the aim is profit making.
Trade is a two-way street and relationships with “trading partners” tends to improve peaceful coexistence. The trouble is that Russia is on the record for backing the Syrian Bashar al-Assad government and the U.S. opposes that. Furthermore, Russia attempted to ship attack helicopters to Syria and now has moved warships to the area. Those actions are not conducive to earning a rewarding relationship.
Now, Russia is already on track to join the WTO on August 22, so why should Congress not just get on with the business of trade?
This circumstance gets back to a larger issue and that is American foreign policy. American foreign policy is the premise for relationships with foreign countries and is intended, in part, to create a positive trade environment.
Where is the State Department in the discussions with Congress about Russia? In fact, where is Russia in this discussion? Should Russian representatives not be meeting with Congress and the President to address issues that cause many Congressmen and the American people to pause?
If Russia doesn’t care about it, maybe the Chamber of Commerce should be taking American business to more hospitable and aligned nations.
“Russian trade bill gets stuck
By Vicki Needham - 08/01/12 05:45 PM ET
Congress will not move a bill that would normalize trade ties with Russia before leaving for a five-week recess, business sources said Wednesday.
"We're disappointed and frustrated," said Christopher Wenk, head of international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Trade has been one of the few opportunities for bipartisan cooperation.
"But this bill is not getting done this week."
Wenk and representatives of other business groups say Congress is missing a good opportunity to help U.S. businesses in a sluggish economy by failing to pass the Russian bill.
Advocates say lawmakers have "dropped the ball" and that they are now looking to September for passage of a measure that would give Moscow permanent normal trade relations by repealing the 37-year-old Jackson-Vanik provision, a U.S. law aimed at encouraging the emigration of Russian Jews with the threat of higher tariffs.
Wenk said the Chamber would push for a commitment from congressional leaders to take up the bill during the brief eight days that Congress is in session in September before leaving town again until after the elections.
Otherwise, the bill will slip to the post-election lame-duck session and U.S. businesses could face higher tariffs for their exports, leaving them at a disadvantage to exporters in Europe and Canada.