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|November 21, 1998||
Pallone decries blacklist, says US loss will be EU's gain
Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone has urged Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Commerce Secretary William M Daley to reconsider the United States' decision blacklisting various Indian public and private companies and denial of support of international financial institutions to India.
In an identical letter to the two members of the Clinton cabinet, he expressed ''serious concern'' at the two steps which he said, ''combine to create a worsening atmosphere in US-India relations and threaten the growing economic ties between the two countries.''
The Clinton administration took these measures last week in pursuance of the Glenn Amendment to punish India for its May nuclear tests.
In the letter, copies of which were released in Washington last night, the Congressman expressed his willingness to work with the administration to address problems concerning these two actions and adopting policies that would promote a more favourable climate in US-India ties on both the diplomatic and political levels.
He also signalled his desire to work with the Indian-American community in the United States to press the administration to consider policy changes.
Pallone drew the Cabinet members' attention to the powers that Congress last month gave to US President Bill Clinton to waive sanctions. ''We believed, as did the administration, that the sanctions were not an effective way for the US to achieve our non-proliferation and other goals,'' he added.
''Instead, the sanctions only served to set back our growing commercial ties with South Asia, while limiting the ability of the US to play a constructive role in the ongoing process of fostering economic progress in this important region. Thus, we welcomed the decision by the president to lift sanctions,'' he added.
Pallone said, ''Unfortunately, the decision to relax the sanctions was accompanied by a decision to support lending by IFIs for non-basic humanitarian needs for Pakistan -- but not for India.''
''This decision essentially has the effect of either expressing favouritism of disfavour towards India, or both,'' he added.
The Congressman sought details from the administration about the conditions that had been attached to the granting of this ''preferable'' treatment to Pakistan in terms of a commitment to future reforms.
''Following on the heels of this action, the commerce department's list of Indian private and public entities would have the effect of punishing Indian organisations with no direct role in nuclear or missile technology, as well as US firms that have ties with them,'' he added.
Pallone said, ''I believe that the administration had cast too wide a net in listing entities, including private research institutions, that do not threaten US companies in India. America's loss could well be the European Union's or Japan's gain.''
He said the administration shared the goals of improved diplomatic, political and strategic relations with the nations of South Asia as well as enhanced opportunities for trade and investment for the US private sector.
''Hope that we can work together to develop a common approach to addressing these issues,'' he added.
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