U.S. FOREIGN POLICY (Senate - June 11, 1998)

[Page: S6135]

Mr. GORTON. Last week, Mr. President, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled to Geneva to meet with the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The purpose of her meeting was to convince the world's declared nuclear powers to join the United States in condemning India and Pakistan for their recent nuclear tests and somehow to prevent an arms race from escalating in South Asia. To no one's surprise but her own and President Clinton's, no agreement was reached.

The foreign policy of the United States in the Clinton Administration has now come down to this. In dealing with the People's Republic of China, a country with a developing internal free market, but repressive of any political dissent, with systematic restrictions against competitive American products, and a blind eye toward billions of dollars of intellectual property piracy, we not only don't defend the victims of these practices, we generously supply the PRC with missile technology that allows it to increase in its already immense threat to its neighbors.

The Clinton Administration gives `Most Favored Nation' treatment for China a whole new meaning. What it means now is, what China wants, China gets--even an American president to be greeted on Tiananmen Square, insulting the memory of its martyrs.

And then we are surprised when India tests nuclear weapons, joining a club we founded fifty years ago. We react by sanctioning--unilaterally--the world's most populous democracy. And we follow up by imposing the same sanctions on Pakistan, a long time ally, for a natural and justified reaction to India's tests.

As Charles Krauthammer so eloquently put it in his column in Friday's Washington Post, the President:
. . . is guilty of more than mere fatuousness, however, in dealing with the India-Pakistan nuclear arms race,. He is guilty of fueling it. While for years his administration has claimed deep concern about proliferation, [he] has shamelessly courted the world's worst proliferator of weapons of mass destruction: China.

Not only is the administration in large part to blame for the current crisis, but is now taking steps to ensure that our economy will suffer together with our national security. The President has decided to impose harsh economic sanctions on both India and Pakistan.

It has already been made alarmingly clear that unilateral sanctions do not work. For the law the President stands behind in his decision to impose sanctions was designed not to punish other nations for flexing their nuclear muscle, but to deter them from entering the nuclear club. As David E. Sanger wrote in The New York Times on May 24, `passionate national causes--particularly the urge for self-sufficiency--almost always trump economic rationality.' Mr. Sanger goes on to say, wisely, that `unilateral sanctions almost never work--precisely because they are unilateral. In a global economy, there are too many producers of almost everything.'

The President has told the American people that he has no choice but to impose the sanctions, claiming that they are required under the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994. What he doesn't say is that Sections 102 (b)(4) and (5) of that law provide the President authority to waive the sanctions in whole or in part if he uses the 30 day delay allowed him before imposing the sanctions. The President did not use the 30 day delay. The reason for his rush to impose sanctions is clear. The President has no other solution.

But unilateral sanctions do little to produce results. Instead, they harm U.S. workers, farmers, and families. My home state of Washington has a lot at stake in this international dispute. In 1996, Washington exports to India totaled $429.39 million and India was the state's fourteenth largest export market. Boeing airplane sales to India totaled $372.8 million in 1996 and accounted for a large majority of overall Washington state exports to that country. Most of the planes India purchases from Boeing are financed by the Export-Import Bank. If the President cuts off Ex-Im Bank loans to India, Boeing, and Washington state's economy will feel a major strain.

Washington is the largest producer of soft white wheat, Pakistan's grain of choice. Pakistan is the largest market for Washington state wheat exports.

During Fiscal Year 1997, Pakistan purchased 2 million metric tons of soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest--32 percent of total soft white wheat exports from the region. So far in FY 1998, Pakistan has purchased 2.14 million metric tons of soft white wheat--37 percent of total wheat exports from the region, with purchases from Washington totaling $140 million.

While American farmers and manufacturers stand today at risk of losing these important markets, their counterparts in Canada, Europe, and Australia are celebrating the shortsightedness of the U.S. Administration. For the U.S. sanctions are better for their businesses than the most ingenious of marketing campaigns. They are happy to step in and fill the place of American exporters in India and Pakistan.

Mr. President, if the U.S. is the only country imposing sanctions on India and Pakistan for actions strongly supported by a large majority of their people, then the Indian and Pakistani governments and the Indian and Pakistani people will turn to nations that are not criticizing their actions for their imports. Airbus and Canadian or Australian grain farmers will benefit from U.S. actions, while Boeing and U.S. farmers will be left out in the cold.

The President must take action now to resolve the situation in South Asia and end the sanctions. If he does not, the American people will suffer the consequences of his mistakes for a long time.

Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. BREAUX. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Smith of Oregon). Without objection, it is so ordered

Mr. BREAUX. I ask unanimous consent to be recognized for 10 minutes in morning business.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.