INTRODUCTION: America's embargo on grain exports to the Soviet Union is to remain in effect -- at least for the time being.
MUTE Library film: Houston, January, 1980. Boats arriving to load grain for Soviet ports(2 shots)
GV Ship tied up
GV ZOOM into CU Grain being loaded
GV Houston quayside with cranes
Aerial View cargo ships in port
SOUND CU Senator J. James Exon speaking
ENGLISH SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT)
EXON: "Well, he has not totally reneged this time, but I think it's safe to say that they were led to believe that he would lift the embargo when he became President of the United States. The question came up with regard to that and they said that with the difficulties in Poland at the present time, that caused them to reassess their position further now that the President is in office."
REPORTER: "Has he said when he'll make up his mind on the embargo?"
EXON: "No he did not say when he would make up his mind, but I think it was quite clear that there would be no early lifting of the embargo."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: America's embargo on grain exports to the Soviet Union is to remain in effect -- at least for the time being. President Ronald Reagan told a group of Senators on Tuesday (17 February) that he had not yet made up his mind whether to lift the embargo. Before his election, Mr. Reagan had opposed the embargo, but he told the Senators that events in Poland and 'Soviet adventurism' had now to be taken into account when reviewing the embargo.
SYNOPSIS: The ban on sales of grain to the USSR was imposed a year ago after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. But deliveries like these from Houston continued under the terms of a treaty between the two countries. Eight million tons of grain a year is shipped to the Soviet Union under the treaty.
During the election campaign Mr. Reagan denounced the embargo on the grounds that it discriminated against one group of Americans. Since taking office, he has been under pressure from farmers to lift the ban. But he has also been lobbied by conservative politicians who argue that to abandon the embargo would be seen as a sign of weaknesses and mean giving the Soviets something for nothing. After meeting the President, Democratic Senator James Exon spoke to reporters.