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Public Papers - 1990 - November

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Declaration of a National Emergency Concerning Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation

1990-11-16

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

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. section 1703(b), and section 201 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. section 1621, I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency and to issue an Executive order that:

-- directs the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce to use their existing legal authorities to control exports that they determine would assist foreign countries in acquiring the capability to produce, stockpile, deliver, or use chemical or biological weapons;

-- directs the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit exports that would assist foreign countries in chemical and biological weapons programs;

-- directs the Secretary of State to pursue early negotiations to adopt comparable effective controls on goods and technology that could assist countries in chemical and biological weapons programs;

-- directs the Secretary of State to ensure that the early achievement of a global convention banning chemical weapons, with adequate verification provisions, shall be a top priority of U.S. foreign policy;

-- directs the imposition of procurement and import sanctions on foreign persons who knowingly and materially contribute to the efforts of foreign countries that use chemical and biological weapons in violation of international law or make substantial preparations to do so;

-- directs the imposition of sanctions against foreign countries that use chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, and authorizes the imposition of sanctions against countries that are making substantial preparations to use such weapons or that have developed, produced, or stockpiled such weapons in violation of international law.

The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Commerce are authorized to issue regulations implementing these requirements. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive order that I have issued exercising these authorities.

I have authorized these actions in view of the danger posed to the national security and foreign policy of the United States by the continuing proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, and the need for stronger unilateral and multilateral controls. This is especially true at this time due to events in the Persian Gulf, and the threats that have been made regarding the use of chemical weapons. We are calling upon other countries to work together to strengthen our efforts and to develop multilateral controls that will effectively address this global threat.

Sincerely,

George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate. The Executive order is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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