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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Message to the Congress on the Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Export Controls


To the Congress of the United States:

1. On September 30, 1990, in Executive Order No. 12730, I declared a national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (``IEEPA'') (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.) to deal with the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States caused by the lapse of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. 2401, et seq.) and the system of controls maintained under that Act. In that order, I continued in effect, to the extent permitted by law, the provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, the Export Administration Regulations (15 C.F.R. 768, et seq.), and the delegations of authority set forth in Executive Order No. 12002 of July 7, 1977, Executive Order No. 12214 of May 2, 1980, and Executive Order No. 12131 of May 4, 1979, as amended by Executive Order No. 12551 of February 21, 1986.

2. I issued Executive Order No. 12730 pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including IEEPA, the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.), and section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code. At that time, I also submitted a report to the Congress pursuant to section 204(b) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(b)). Section 204 of IEEPA requires follow-up reports, with respect to actions or changes, to be submitted every 6 months. This report is submitted in compliance with that requirement.

3. Since the issuance of Executive Order No. 12730, the Department of Commerce has continued to administer the system of export controls, including antiboycott provisions, contained in the Export Administration Regulations. In administering these controls, the Department has acted under a policy of conforming actions under Executive Order No. 12730 to those required under the Export Administration Act, insofar as appropriate.

4. Since I issued Executive Order No. 12730, there have been several significant developments in the area of export controls:

The spread of weapons of mass destruction continues to constitute a threat to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Accordingly, in Executive Order No. 12735 of November 16, 1990, and the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative of December 13, 1990, we announced major steps to strengthen export controls over goods, technology, and other forms of assistance that can contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons and missile systems. On March 7, 1991, the Department of Commerce issued two new regulations and a proposed rule to implement these steps. The new regulations control the export of 50 chemicals as well as dual-use equipment and technical data that can be used to make chemical and biological weapons. (56 F.R. 10756 and 10760, March 13, 1991.) The proposed rule would expand controls to cover exports when the exporter knows or is informed by the Department of Commerce that an export will be used for missile technology or chemical or biological weapons, or is destined for a project engaged in such activities. The rule also proposes to restrict U.S. citizen participation in such activities and the export of chemical plants and plant designs. (56 F.R. 10765, March 13, 1991.)

Concerned Government agencies continue negotiations with our Coordinating Committee (COCOM) partners on the development of a Core List of truly strategic items that will remain subject to multilateral national security controls.

Enforcement efforts have continued unabated. In a major enforcement action, on February 22, 1991, the Department of Commerce temporarily denied the export privileges of a Dutch company, Delft Instruments N.V., and certain related companies, in connection with an investigation of illegal reexport of U.S.-origin night vision equipment to Iraq.

On January 21, 1991, the Department of Commerce submitted a report to the Congress, extending for the period of January 21, 1991, through January 20, 1992, export controls maintained for foreign policy purposes under the Export Administration Regulations. Several changes were announced, including a change in controls toward the People's Democratic Republic (PDR) of Yemen. The PDR of Yemen has merged with the Yemen Arab Republic, and the new country was not included by the Secretary of State among designated terrorist-supporting states. Accordingly, controls maintained for reasons of antiterrorism have not been extended. In addition, foreign policy controls on exports to Namibia were removed on March 21, 1990, when it achieved independence from South Africa.

The unrestricted access of foreign parties to U.S. goods, technology, and technical data and the existence of certain boycott practices of foreign nations, in light of the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979, continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. I shall continue to exercise the powers at my disposal to retain the export control system, including the antiboycott provisions, and will continue to report periodically to the Congress on significant developments, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1703(c).

George Bush

The White House,

April 23, 1991.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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