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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992 - January

Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Determination Not To Prohibit Fish Imports From Certain Countries


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 has reported to me that the countries of Costa Rica, France, Italy, Japan, and Panama have been under an embargo since May 24, 1991. No yellowfin tuna or products derived from yellowfin tuna harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) by purse seine vessels of Mexico, Venezuela, or Vanuatu may be imported into the United States from these nations.

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 Costa Rica, France, Italy, Japan, and Panama, 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 fish and wildlife imports have not been prohibited, the report must state the reasons for the lack of a prohibition.

After thorough review, I have determined that, given that an embargo is currently in effect and given the negotiations towards an international dolphin conservation program in the ETP, sanctions will not be imposed against intermediary nations at this time. Costa Rica, France, Italy, Japan, and Panama will continue to be certified, and we will review their status as intermediary nations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, if 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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