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H.Doc.107-98 EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES ...


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107th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - House Document 107-97


 
   A REPORT CONCERNING A WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT FOR THE 
                          REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

  NOTIFICATION CONCERNING A WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT FOR THE 
      REPUBLIC OF BELARUS, PURSUANT TO 19 U.S.C. 2432 (c) AND (d)

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


July 16, 2001.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, July 2, 2001.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I hereby transmit the report referred to 
in subsection 402(c)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974, with respect 
to a waiver of the application of subsections 402 (a) and (b) 
of that Act to the Republic of Belarus.
    I have determined that such a waiver will substantially 
promote the objectives of section 402, and I have instructed 
the Secretary of State to provide a copy of that determination 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of 
the Senate. The report also indicates that I have received the 
assurances with respect to the emigration practices of the 
Republic of Belarus required by section 402(c)(2)(B) of the 
Act.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
 Report to Congress Concerning a Waiver of Jackson-Vanik Amendment for 
                        the Republic of Belarus

    Pursuant to subsection 402(c)(2) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended (hereinafter the ``Act''), I shall issue today an 
Executive Order waiving the application of subsections (a) and 
(b) of section 402 of the Act with respect to the Republic of 
Belarus.
    I wish to report to the Congress that I have made the 
determination required by subsection 402(c)(2)(A) of the Act 
and received assurances as required by section 402(c)(2)(B) of 
the Act.
    Exercise of the waiver authority conferred by Section 402 
of the Act has permitted the United States to conclude and 
maintain in force, or to seek to conclude, bilateral commercial 
agreements with countries subject to Title IV of the Act, and 
has encouraged freedom of emigration in these countries. The 
reciprocal normal trade relations (MFN) trade treatment and 
other provisions of the commercial agreement with Belarus 
enhance the ability of U.S. companies to compete in the 
Belarusian market. (Exercise of the waiver authority with 
respect to Belarus would also allow the United States 
Government credit and investment guarantees to support U.S. 
trade and investment activities in Belarus, but those programs 
have been suspended in Belarus due to strong concerns over the 
Belarusian authorities' economic and human-rights policies.)
    Soviet-era restrictions on emigration in Belarus have (with 
one exception, noted below) been dismantled, and existing 
restrictions are applied in a manner that allows free 
emigration. A law on entry and exit came into effect on January 
1, 1994 that abolishes the former Soviet requirement of 
mandatory official permission for each trip abroad by 
authorizing Belarusians to receive passports containing 
``global'' exit visas valid for one to five years and for 
travel to all countries. The Belarusian constitution of 
November 1996, although illegitimately adopted, nevertheless 
specifically grants citizens the right to leave and return as 
they wish. Applicants generally receive a passport and exit 
visa within 2 to 3 months of application, although widespread 
petty bribery often accelerates the processing period.
    Soviet-era legislation restricting emigration by those with 
access to ``state secrets'' remains in force in Belarus. 
Citizens denied permission to emigrate on this basis are 
informed at the time of denial when they may reapply (usually 2 
years). However, this restriction does not discriminate on the 
basis of ethnic identity. None of the human-rights or Jewish 
organizations in Belarus reports excessive restrictions on the 
ability of citizens to emigrate. The Secretary of State has 
received a letter, dated June 8, from Belarusian Ambassador to 
the United States, Valery Tsepkalo, assuring that Belarus will 
continue its commitment to free emigration policies.
    I have concluded that issuance of a waiver under Section 
402 of the Act for Belarus will help preserve the gains already 
achieved on freedom of emigration and encourage further 
progress.

                                <greek-d>


Pages: 1

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