Politics Disad – Jackson-Vanik Jackson-Vanik 1nc shell




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Politics Disad – Jackson-Vanik

Jackson-Vanik 1NC Shell

Jackson-Vanik will pass- momentum growing in Congress to pass within two months


Financial Times 6/12

(James Politi, staffwriter for the Financial Times, 6/12/12, “Moscow trade move on US agenda”, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0386cc9c-b4b1-11e1-aa06-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1z7l9Dp7z”)

Momentum is growing in Congress for legislation to normalize US trade relations with Russia in connection with its looming accession to the World Trade Organization. A bipartisan group of influential senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that would grant “permanent normal trade relations” status to Russia, calling for fellow lawmakers to approve the legislation over the next two months. The billsponsored by Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate finance committee – would also repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, a provision of US law designed in the 1970s to restrict trade with countries that restrict emigration. “Jackson-Vanik served its purpose during the cold war, but it’s a relic of another era that now stands in the way of our farmers, ranchers and businesses pursuing opportunities to grow and create jobs,” said Mr Baucus. “We owe it to American workers and businesses to enable them to take advantage of the doors opening in Russia.” The move comes amid persistent concerns harboured by many US lawmakers about Russia’s foreign policy – particularly with regard to Syria – as well as the pace of political and economic reforms, and human rights in the country. In fact, Mr Baucus said he planned to introduce an amendment to the PNTR legislation called the “Magnitsky” bill – which is opposed by Russia – allowing the US to freeze assets and deny entry to Russian officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses. The Obama administration has said it would prefer a “clean” bill, not tying PNTR with the Magnitsky rule, but nonetheless “welcomed” the introduction of the legislation in the Senate. “We will continue to work with Congress so that Americans can reap the full benefits of Russia’s WTO membership,” said Ron Kirk, US trade representative.

PC key to repeal votes on Jackson Vanik


Moscow Times ‘12

“Margelov Hopes Jackson-Vanik Will Be Repealed in 2012”,4/5/12 http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/margelov-hopes-jackson-vanik-will-be-repealed-in-2012/456160.html, BJM

The United States will raise the issue of discussing the Jackson-Vanik amendment before this summer, said Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, Interfax reported. "The administration of President Barack Obama, which has been lobbying this issue in Congress, is synchronizing watches and taking stock of its forces," Margelov told reporters after a round table that focused on the reversal of the amendment in the context of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. The event was held behind closed doors. Margelov said Ambassador Michael McFaul has been participating in the round-table process. It is important for the Obama administration to understand how many votes it can secure in Congress for the decision to repeal the amendment, which was passed during the Cold War era and which limits trading opportunities between Russia and the United States, the senator said. The issue is "a matter of the U.S. internal calendar," he said. "For us, it is interesting only from the standpoint that the reversal of this amendment will become a political signal that the relics of the Cold War will be removed from our political realities and the reset will be filled with substance," Margelov said. For the first time, the U.S. presidential administration "has been lobbying the reversal of this amendment genuinely and deeply, and has been doing so very seriously and professionally," he said.

Anything above routine investment costs political capital


Freemark ‘12

(Yonah – Master of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yale University with Distinction. Also a freelance journalist who has been published in Planning Magazine; Next American City Magazine; Dissent; The Atlantic Cities; Next American City Online; and The Infrastructurist – He created and continues to write for the website The Transport Politic – The Transport Politic – “On Infrastructure, Hopes for Progress This Year Look Glum” – January 25th, 2012 – http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2012/01/25/on-infrastructure-hopes-for-progress-this-year-look-glum/

President Obama barely mentions the need for improvements in the nation’s capital stock in his State of the Union. The contributions of the Obama Administration to the investment in improved transportation alternatives have been significant, but it was clear from the President’s State of the Union address last night that 2012 will be a year of diminished expectations in the face of a general election and a tough Congressional opposition. Mr. Obama’s address, whatever its merits from a populist perspective, nonetheless failed to propose dramatic reforms to encourage new spending on transportation projects, in contrast to previous years. While the Administration has in some ways radically reformed the way Washington goes about selecting capital improvements, bringing a new emphasis on livability and underdeveloped modes like high-speed rail, there was little indication in the speech of an effort to expand such policy choices. All that we heard was a rather meek suggestion to transform a part of the money made available from the pullout from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts — a sort of war dividend whose size is undefined — to “do some nation-building right here at home.” If these suggestions fell flat for the pro-investment audience, they were reflective of the reality of working in the context of a deeply divided political system in which such once-universally supported policies as increased roads funding have become practically impossible to pursue. Mr. Obama pushed hard, we shouldn’t forget, for a huge, transformational transportation bill in early 2011, only to be rebuffed by intransigence in the GOP-led House of Representatives and only wavering support in the Democratic Senate. For the first term at least, the Administration’s transportation initiatives appear to have been pushed aside. Even so, it remains to be seen how the Administration will approach the development of a transportation reauthorization program. Such legislation remains on the Congressional agenda after three years of delays (the law expires on March 31st). There is so far no long-term solution to the continued inability of fuel tax revenues to cover the growing national need for upgraded or expanded mobility infrastructure. But if it were to pass, a new multi-year transportation bill would be the most significant single piece of legislation passed by the Congress in 2012. The prospect of agreement between the two parties on this issue, however, seems far-fetched. That is, if we are to assume that the goal is to complete a new and improved spending bill, rather than simply further extensions of the existing legislation. The House could consider this month a bill that would fund new highways and transit for several more years by expanding domestic production of heavily carbon-emitting fossil fuels, a terrible plan that would produce few new revenues and encourage more ecological destruction. Members of the Senate, meanwhile, have for months been claiming they were “looking” for the missing $12 or 13 billion to complete its new transportation package but have so far come up with bupkis. The near-term thus likely consists of either continued extensions of the current law or a bipartisan bargain that fails to do much more than replicate the existing law, perhaps with a few bureaucratic reforms.

The recent highways bill doesn’t take out the disad—they decreased baseline levels of spending


The Hill 6/29

"Congress passes highway funds, extends lower student loan rate" By Pete Kasperowicz and Daniel Strauss - 06/29/12, thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/235621-house-passes-highway-student-loan-flood-insurance-bill AD 6/29/12

The vote also ends a long streak without a long-term highway bill. The last transportation bill that was approved by Congress was supposed to expire in September 2009, when former Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) ran the Transportation Committee in the House. Instead, the measure was temporarily extended nine times, including the latest three-month appropriation that was scheduled to expire on Saturday. The scope of the new transportation legislation has been reduced since the last time Congress approved a multiyear highway bill. The last bill, which was signed into law in 2005 by former President George W. Bush, lasted four years and spent $244 billion on road and transit projects.

Jackson-Vanik repeal sets the tone for US-Russia relations


Gvosdev 12

Nikolas, faculty of the U.S. Naval War College “The Realist Prism: Resetting the U.S.-Russia Reset,” http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/11441/the-realist-prism-resetting-the-u-s-russia-reset

An upcoming decision-point could offer a good indication of what to expect. The World Trade Organization is expected to ratify Russia’s accession later this spring. However, American firms will not be able to take advantage of Russia's WTO membership as long as U.S. trade with Russia is still subject to the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment. Congress would first have to agree to "graduate" Russia from the terms of the legislation, but many members remain hesitant. An unofficial swap would see Russia given permanent normal trading relations status, but with new legislation applying "smart sanctions" against specific Russian individuals and entities accused of condoning human rights abuses, most notably in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Whether this Solomonic compromise could work, however, remains to be seen. The Russian government has already responded very negatively to sanctions unilaterally imposed by the State Department and may be quite unwilling to accept such a compromise, even if it means graduating Russia from Jackson-Vanik. At the same time, there remains resistance within Congress to "giving up" one of its last remaining tools to pressure Russia on a whole range of issues, from chicken imports to religious freedom. The fate of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, therefore, is the canary in the coal mine for U.S.-Russia relations. If a successful repeal is negotiated, it bodes well for regenerating the relationship. However, if Obama, like George W. Bush before him, is unable to secure Russia’s graduation, this could end up being a fatal blow to the whole idea of the reset.

Russian relations are key to solve every impact-alternative is crisis escalation and war


Commission on US Policy Toward Russia 2009

(US Senate, “THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR U.S. POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA,”  March) 

Securing America’s vital national interests in the complex, interconnected, and interdependent world of the twenty-first century requires deep and meaningful cooperation with other governments. The challenges—stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, defeating terrorist networks, rebuilding the global economy, and ensuring energy security for the United States and others—are enormous. And few nations could make more of a difference to our success than Russia, with its vast arsenal of nuclear weapons, its strategic location spanning Europe and Asia, its considerable energy resources, and its status as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Rapid and effective action to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations is critically important to advancing U.S. national interests An American commitment to improving U.S.-Russian relations is neither a reward to be offered for good international behavior by Moscow nor an endorsement of the Russian government’s domestic conduct. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the importance of Russian cooperation in achieving essential American goals, whether preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, dismantling al- Qaeda and stabilizing Afghanistan, or guaranteeing security and prosperity in Europe. Success in creating a new and cooperative relationship with Russia can contribute to each of these objectives and many others. Failure could impose significant costs.
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