BRAMA, Mar 21, 2005, 9:00 am ET|
Congressman Joseph Crowley Co-Sponsors Bill to Lift Jackson-Vanik Trade Restrictions from Ukraine
Washington, DC--- Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-07) (website) signed onto a bill calling for the repeal of Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions with Ukraine. Congressman Henry Hyde (IL-06) introduced the bill, HR 885, into the House on February 17, 2005. If passed, the bill will establish normal trade relations between the United States and Ukraine.
The Jackson-Vanik amendment, passed in 1974, restricts permanent normal trade relations with all former Soviet Union States, including Russia. The amendment was implemented in order to limit trade with countries which restrict emigration rights for its citizens and have non-market economies. Ukraine has made great progress towards the establishment of genuine democratic ideals, a free market economic system, and has passed legislation protecting religious and ethnic minorities within the country.
Normal trade relations with the United States means that Ukrainian imports will face lower duties than countries with the trade restrictions. Ukraine will gain a competitive advantage in the United States which is not available to countries without normal trade relations.
"It is important that the United States support the burgeoning Democracy and economy of the Ukraine. By lifting Jackson-Vanik restrictions, we can form a lasting relationship with the largest democracy in the region," said Congressman Crowley. "Ukraine is an example to all of the former Soviet Union States that there are great rewards from adopting democratic ideals," said Congressman Crowley.
The bill also addresses Ukrainian restitution of Jewish property to those who lost it during the early 1900's. Language in the bill requires Ukraine to move towards returning the stolen property in order to receive normal trade relations with the United States.
Once normal trade relations are established, Ukraine will be eligible for membership in World Trade Organization, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations. Establishing normal trade relations with the United States is an important step on Ukraine's path to international recognition as a peaceful, democratic nation.