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Public Papers - 1990 - September

Letter to Congressional Leaders on Trade With Czechoslovakia


Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In accordance with section 407 of the Trade Act of 1974 (P.L. 93 - 618, January 3, 1975; 88 Stat. 1978), as amended (the ``Trade Act''), I am transmitting a copy of a proclamation that extends nondiscriminatory treatment to the products of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. I also enclose the text of the ``Agreement on Trade Relations Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Czechoslovak Federative Republic,'' including exchanges of letters that form an integral part of the Agreement, which was signed on April 12, 1990, and which is included as an annex to the proclamation.

The Agreement will provide a nondiscriminatory framework for our bilateral trade relations, and thus strengthen both economic and political relations between the United States and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. Conclusion of this Agreement is an important step we can take to provide greater economic benefits to both countries from this relationship. It will also give further impetus to the progress we have made in our overall relationship since the general improvement in our diplomatic relations last year.

I believe that the Agreement is consistent with both the letter and the spirit of the Trade Act. It provides for mutual extension of nondiscriminatory tariff treatment, while seeking to ensure overall reciprocity of economic benefits. It includes safeguard arrangements to ensure that our trade with the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic will grow without causing disruption to the U.S. market and consequent injury to domestic firms or loss of jobs for American workers.

The Agreement also confirms and expands for American businesses certain basic rights in conducting commercial transactions both within the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and with Czechoslovak nationals and business entities. Other provisions include those dealing with settlement of commercial disputes, financial transactions, and government commercial offices. Through this Agreement, Czechoslovakia also undertakes obligations to modernize and upgrade very substantially its protection of all forms of intellectual property rights. Once fully implemented, the new Czechoslovak intellectual property regime will be on a par with that of our principal industrialized trading partners.

On February 20, 1990, I waived application of subsections (a) and (b) of section 402 of the Trade Act to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. On June 3, 1990, I determined that continuation of this waiver will substantially promote the objectives of section 402 and, pursuant to section 402(d)(5) of the Trade Act, submitted a report to the Congress outlining the reasons for my determination.

I urge that the Congress act as soon as possible to approve the ``Agreement on Trade Relations Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Czechoslovak Federative Republic.''


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate.

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