WASHINGTON -- With the bloody Soviet crackdown in Lithuania serving as a backdrop, Representative Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md.-3rd, is once again pushing a measure that would tie normalized trade relations between the Soviet Union and the United States to independence for the Baltic states.
"I want [the Soviet Union] to respect the rights of the Baltic states," said the Baltimore Democrat. His bill would link most-favored-nation trading status -- which offers the lowest tariffs -- to Soviet progress in negotiations toward self-determination for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The measure -- initially introduced last summer -- takes on new urgency, said the congressman, after Soviet troops stormed a television studio in Vilnius early Sunday, killing 14 and injuring at least 140. Mr. Cardin, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will hold hearings on the measure, said he has yet to find a co-sponsor in the Senate for the legislation.