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AP: US Senate Imposes Limited Econo
- Subject: AP: US Senate Imposes Limited Econo
- From: ktint@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 10:13:00
Subject: AP: US Senate Imposes Limited Economic Sanctions Against Burma
US Senate Imposes Limited Economic Sanctions Against Burma
By ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate passed a $12.25 billion foreign aid bill
today that includes a measure imposing limited economic sanctions against
The bill, approved 93-7, must be reconciled with a $11.9 billion House
version that passed in June, before it is sent to President Clinton for
With help from Republicans, the Clinton administration staved off an
attempt during Thursday's floor debate to make a total cutoff of economic
ties to Burma, the Southeast Asian nation whose whose military leaders
ousted a democratically elected government in 1990 and are accused of human
The sanctions proposal, sponsored by Sen. William Cohen, R-Maine, was
attached to the 1997 foreign aid bill, which also included a measure to
restore the administration's request for $213 million for international
Also approved was an amendment making Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and the
Czech Republic eligible for $60 million in U.S. aid designed to expedite
their entry into the NATO alliance. The House has passed a similar measure.
Another amendment restored the $25 million requested by the
administration to support the Korean Peninsula Economic Development
Organization, which provides North Korea with energy as part of a 1994 deal
to dismantle its nuclear arms program. The aid is conditioned on, among
other things, North Korean cooperation with efforts to recover remains of
U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War.
The Burma measure was supported by the Clinton administration. The
administration opposed a move to enact tougher sanctions by barring all
private and public U.S. investment in Burma.
The Cohen sanctions would take effect immediately; as an additional
penalty, the president would have to cut off all new U.S. investment in
Burma if he determined that the Burmese government had harmed or exiled
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi or committed large-scale repression or
violence against the pro-democracy opposition.
By a vote of 54-45, the Senate defeated an attempt to kill Cohen's
measure. Cohen said his approach would enable the Clinton administration to
coordinate with Asian allies on an effective policy supporting democratic
change in Burma.
The Senate also adopted an amendment to the foreign aid bill that would
increase spending on international counter-drug efforts from $53 million to
the $213 million requested by Clinton. That amendment, sponsored by Sen.
Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., but opposed by many Democrats, was approved by a
vote of 51-46.
The Senate also adopted, 96-3, an amendment by Sen. Pete Domenici,
R-N.M., to prohibit additional spending on military education and training
for Mexico until that country arrests and prosecutes or turns over 10
most-wanted drug traffickers who were indicted in the United States and are
believed to be in Mexico.
In a letter to Cohen, the State Department expressed the
administration's support for his amendment and called it consistent with
current administration policy toward Burma, whose rulers are accused of
repressing pro-democracy activists, led by 1991 Nobel Peace laureate Aung
San Suu Kyi.
Cohen's measure cuts off U.S. government assistance to the Burmese
government except for humanitarian aid, counter-narcotics assistance under
certain circumstances, and assistance in promoting human rights and
The sanctions, as proposed by Cohen, would last until the U.S. president
certified to Congress that Burma had made "measurable and substantial"
progress in improving human rights practices and implementing democratic
Cohen, backed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Don Nickles,
R-Okla., and others, opposed a provision of the foreign aid bill that would
have taken a tougher stance against Burma by barring any U.S. public or
private investment there until Burma's military rulers give up power and
allow free elections.
Those favoring the tougher approach to Burma, led by Sen. Mitch
McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Daniel Moynihan, D-N.Y., argued during floor
debate Thursday that if the United States unilaterally cut off ties to
Burma, other countries -- possibly including the European Union -- would
McConnell called the Burmese regime "truly one of a handful of pariah
regimes in the world." He likened it to the Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan and
North Korean regimes.