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URGENT NEWS - District Court Rules (r)

Subject: Re: URGENT NEWS - District Court Rules in Favor of National  Foreign Trade Council;

Dear Free Burma Activists:

At this stage, I would recommend that people first write Massachusetts AG
Scott Harshbarger to urge him to appeal the ruling.

Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2200
(617) 727-5778 - fax

Secondly, if you live outside Massachusetts, please also contact your state's
Attorney General. Ask him or her to contact the Massachusetts Attorney
General Scott Harshbarger and support Massachusetts by filing an amicus -
or friend of the court  - brief in defense of the Massachusetts Burma Law.

You can find the address of your state's Attorney General from your phone
book or on the website of the National Association of Attorney's General
(NAAG): <http://www.naag.org/>

Thirdly, with that out of the way, I'd suggest writing to the companies
listed as Board Members of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). Tell
the companies to put pressure on the staff of the NFTC to halt this lawsuit.

A list of the NFTC's Board Members is below. (The list is also available on
the NFTC's website at: <http://www.nftconline.org/board.html>)


Allied Signal Inc. 
American Home Products Corporation 
American International Underwriters 
Amoco Corporation 
Arthur Andersen & Co. 
AT&T International 
Bank of America NT&SA 
Bank of New York 
Bankers Trust Company 
Bechtel Group, Inc. 
Boeing Company 
Boise Cascade Corporation 
Caltex Petroleum Corporation 
Caterpillar Inc. 
Chase Manhattan Bank 
Chevron USA. Inc. 
Chrysler Corporation 
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies 
Citibank, N.A. 
Colgate-Palmolive Company 
Dewey Ballantine 
Digital Equipment Corporation 
Dresser Industries. Inc. 
Duracell International Inc. 
Eastman Kodak Company 
E.l. du Pont de Nemours & Co. 
Ernst & Young 
First National Bank of Chicago 
General Electric Company 
General Motors Corporation 
Gillette Company 
Halliburton Company 
IBM Corporation 
Ingersoll-Rand Company 
ITT Corporation 
Johnson & Johnson 
Mars Incorporated 
McDermott Incorporated 
Mobil Oil Corporation 
Monsanto Company 
National Foreign Trade Council Oil Capital Limited, Inc. 
Pepsico Foods & Beverages International 
Pfizer International Inc. 
Price Waterhouse 
Procter & Gamble Company 
Ridgewood Group International Ltd. 
Steptoe & Johnson 
Texaco Inc. 
Towers Perrin 
United Technologies Corporation 
W.R. Grace & Co. 
Warner-Lambert Company 
Westinghouse Electric Corporation

Please send a copy of your letters to the New England Burma Roundtable so
the we can gauge the response from this action alert. Thank you for your

Simon Billenness
* for the New England Burma Rountable *
Franklin Research & Development
711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-6655, x225
(617) 482-6179 - fax

At 12:28 PM 11/5/98 -0500, Rangoon Post Co-Editor wrote:
>NOTE:  Does anyone care to send letters to the NFTC ??   Ask them what
>does companies have preference over people.  Why are companies trying to
>steer foreign policy?  Company business in any country has NOTHING to do
>with Foreign Policy.  The NFTC is steeping on our rights as citizens of
>the USA.  
>District Court Rules in Favor of National Foreign Trade Council; Finds
>            Massachusetts Burma Law Unconstitutional
>            PRNewswire
>            04-NOV-98
>            WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/-- The National
>            Foreign Trade Council, Inc. issued the following press
>            release today: The United States District Court for the
>            District of Massachusetts today ruled the Massachusetts
>            Burma Law unconstitutional on the grounds that the statute
>            violates the federal government's power to regulate foreign
>            affairs. 
>            The ruling in National Foreign Trade Council v. Baker,
>            stated that "...the court finds that the Massachusetts Burma
>            Law impermissibly infringes on the federal government's
>            power to regulate foreign affairs... State interests, no
>            how noble, do not trump the federal government's exclusive
>            foreign affairs power." 
>            "Chief Judge Tauro's ruling rests on clear constitutional
>            grounds, and should significantly deter states and cities
>            imposing their own foreign policy sanctions," said Frank
>            Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council,
>            the suit's plaintiff. 
>            "The constitutional problems created by the Massachusetts
>            Burma Law are serious, and the proliferation of similar laws
>            in states and cities throughout the country creates a
>            not only for business, but for the ability of the United
>            to conduct a coherent foreign policy," Kittredge continued.
>            "We share concerns over reported human rights abuses in
>            Burma, however, our system of government was not
>            designed to allow the fifty states and hundreds of
>            municipalities to conduct their own individual foreign
>            policies." 
>            The NFTC has, for most of this century, represented the
>            interests of hundreds of companies in free international
>            trade. NFTC filed the Massachusetts case on behalf of its
>            580 members because the law establishes a "restricted
>            purchase list" which currently includes over 30 of the
>            member companies-- preventing these companies from
>            competing on an equal basis for contracts with
>            Massachusetts state agencies unless these companies
>            cease doing business in Burma.