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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992 - January

Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Determination Not To Prohibit Fish Imports From Venezuela and Vanuatu


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

Pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967, as amended (22 U.S.C. 1978), I am reporting to you that the Secretary of Commerce reported to me that the countries of Venezuela and Vanuatu have been under a court-ordered embargo since March 26, 1991. No yellowfin tuna or products derived from yellowfin tuna harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) by purse seine vessels of Venezuela and Vanuatu may be imported into the United States.

The Secretary's letter to me is deemed to be a certification for the purposes of subsection (a) of the Pelly Amendment. Subsection (a) requires that I consider and, at my discretion, order the prohibition of imports into the United States of fish and fish products from Venezuela and Vanuatu to the extent that such prohibition is consistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Subsection (b) requires me to report to the Congress within 60 days following certification on the actions taken pursuant to the certification; if all fish imports have not been prohibited, the report must state the reasons for doing so.

After thorough review, I have determined that, given that an embargo is currently in effect and given the negotiations toward an international dolphin conservation program in the ETP, sanctions will not be imposed at this time. Venezuela and Vanuatu will continue to be certified, and we will review their marine mammal incidental mortality under the Marine Mammal Protection Act if findings are requested for 1992. I will make further reports to you as developments warrant.


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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