Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Congress to normalize trade relations with Russia on Wednesday, saying that such an act “isn't a gift” to a country that many in the U.S. still eye warily.
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Clinton writes that, with respect to Russia, Congress needs to halt the application of a measure that restricts trade with countries that limit their citizens’ emigration rights – in Russia’s case, it was applied to help thousands of Jews leave the Soviet Union.
“Extending permanent normal trading relations isn't a gift to Russia,” she writes. “It is a smart, strategic investment in one of the fastest growing markets for U.S. goods and services.”
Clinton does note continued concerns over human rights violations, its continued support of Syria, and the situation in Georgia.
“Some argue that continuing to apply [the restrictions] to Russia would give us some leverage in these areas of disagreement. We disagree—and so do leaders of Russia's political opposition,” she writes.