FOREIGN RELATIONS AUTHORIZATION ACT, FISCAL YEARS 1998 AND 1999 (House of Representatives - June 10, 1997)
- Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to the Rohrabacher amendment to H.R. 1757, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which would deny United States foreign assistance to Russia to prevent the transfer of missile technology to China and Iran.
- While I am a strong supporter of nonproliferation measures, and measures to increase stability in the Asia-Pacific region, I firmly believe this amendment would have exactly the opposite effect of what it intends: it would, in fact, encourage the illegal transfer of technology by Russia.
- The primary reason for the transfer of such technology in cash-strapped Russia is to obtain hard currency. To deny United States aid would make Russia's dire economic circumstances worse. The inevitable response by desperate business interests will be to seek even more illicit trade.
- We are all aware of allegations that have recently surfaced regarding Russian technological assistance to rogue nations that would enable them to build advanced missiles capable of targeting our friends and allies.
- These allegations must be taken seriously, by the administration and Congress. I have written to and called our National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, on several occasions and he has arranged several excellent briefings for Members. He has also assured me that President Clinton took up these issues with President Yeltsin at the May 27 Paris summit, follow-up continues, and further efforts will be made at the highest levels later this summer.
- Mr. Chairman, this amendment is well intended but misses the mark. We must provide appropriate aid to Russia to help it monitor proliferation, and to rebuild its economy so the impulse for illicit proliferation is reduced.
- In this case, less is less. Less aid means less control and less security. I urge my colleagues to vote `no.'