America 4/4/97

CLINTON / CHEMICAL WEAPONS (L)

BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS LAUNCHED A HIGH-PROFILE,
BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN FOR SENATE RATIFICATION OF THE
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION, WHICH GOES INTO EFFECT
LATER THIS MONTH. THE TREATY BANS THE DEVELOPMENT,
PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. MR.
CLINTON IS WARNING THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL LOSE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO ENFORCE THE PACT IF IT FAILS TO
RATIFY IT. V-O-A'S WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT
DEBORAH TATE REPORTS.

TEXT: AT A CEREMONY ON THE SOUTH LAWN ATTENDED BY
BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS, MILITARY VETERANS AND
OFFICIALS FROM FORMER REPUBLICAN ADMINISTATIONS, MR.
CLINTON URGED THE REPUBLICAN-LED SENATE TO
RATIFY THE TREATY BEFORE IT TAKES EFFECT APRIL 29TH.

// CLINTON OPT ACTUALITY //

RATIFYING THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION IS IMPORTANT
FOR WHAT IT DOES AND FOR WHAT IT SAYS. IT SAYS AMERICA
IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING OUR TROOPS, TO FIGHTING
TERROR, TO STOPPING THE SPREAD OF WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION, TO SETTING AND ENFORCING STANDARDS FOR
INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOR, AND TO LEADING THE WORLD AND
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY. I URGE THE
SENATE TO ACT IN THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF
BIPARTISANSHIP, AND IN THE DEEPEST OF OUR NATIONAL
INTERESTS.

// END OPT ACT //

ALTHOUGH THE TREATY HAS BEEN SIGNED BY 161 COUNTRIES --
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, ONLY 70 HAVE RATIFIED IT SO FAR.

IT WAS NEGOTIATED BY MR. CLINTON'S REPUBLICAN PREDECESSOR,
GEORGE BUSH, AND HAS BEEN AWAITING SENATE RATIFICATION
SINCE 1993.

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES BAKER, WHO SERVED
UNDER MR. BUSH, WARNED THAT NOT RATIFYING THE TREATY
WOULD SEND THE WRONG MESSAGE.

// BAKER ACTUALITY //

IF WE FAIL TO RATIFY THE C-W-C, WE WILL BE SENDING A
CLEAR SIGNAL OF RETREAT FROM INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP,
BOTH TO OUR ALLIES AND TO OUR ENEMIES ALIKE. THIS IS A
MESSAGE WE SHOULD NEVER, NEVER SEND.

// END ACT //

BUT CRITICS IN THE SENATE SAY THE TREATY WOULD BE
DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE, AND THEY NOTE IRAQ, NORTH KOREA
AND LIBYA -- NATIONS THE UNITED STATES SAYS SPONSOR
TERRORISM -- ARE NOT BOUND BY THE TREATY.

OPPONENTS ALSO ARGUE THE PACT WOULD MAKE U-S
CHEMICAL COMPANIES SUBJECT TO SEARCHES FROM
INTERNATIONAL INSPECTORS -- A MOVE THEY SAY WOULD
BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND POSE AN INVITATION TO
INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE.

CHIEF AMONG THE CRITICS IS CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN
SENATOR JESSE HELMS OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAIRMAN OF
THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, WHO SAID FRIDAY HE
WOULD CONTINUE BLOCKING A VOTE ON THE TREATY UNTIL
HIS CONCERNS ARE ADDRESSED.

U-S OFFICIALS RESPONDED THAT THEY WOULD WORK WITH THE
SENATE.

MR. CLINTON ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS
CONVENTION IS NOT PERFECT, BUT HE ARGUED NO NATION
ACTING ALONE CAN PROTECT ITSELF FROM THE THREAT POSED
BY CHEMICAL WEAPONS. // OPT // IN HIS WORDS, THERE MUST
BE AN INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION TO A GLOBAL PROBLEM.
// END OPT //

HE WARNED THAT FAILURE TO RATIFY THE TREATY WOULD
JEOPARDIZE NATIONAL SECURITY AND ECONOMIC SECURITY.

// CLINTON ACTUALITY //

WE WILL BE DENIED THE TREATY'S TOOLS AGAINST ROGUE
STATES AND TERRORISTS, WE WILL LOSE THE CHANCE TO HELP
TO ENFORCE THE RULES WE HELPED TO WRITE, OR TO HAVE
AMERICANS SERVE AS INTERNATIONAL INSPECTORS, SOMETHING
THAT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RAISED
CONCERNS ABOUT THE INSPECTIONS PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY.
IRONICALLY, IF WE ARE OUTSIDE THIS AGREEMENT RATHER THAN
INSIDE, IT IS OUR CHEMICAL COMPANIES, OUR LEADING
EXPORTERS, WHICH WILL FACE MANDATORY TRADE RESTRICTIONS
THAT CAN COST THEM HUNDREDS OF MILLIIONS OF DOLLARS IN
SALES.

// END ACT //

U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR
TREATY RATIFICATION OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. THEY
ACKNOWLEDGE IT WILL BE AN UPHILL BATTLE, BUT SAY
PRESIDENT CLINTON IS CONFIDENT THE SENATE WILL APPROVE
THE PACT. (SIGNED)

NEB/DAT/PT

04-Apr-97 3:33 PM EST (2033 UTC)