Voice of America 4/15/97

FORBES / CHEMICAL WEAPONS

BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: AMERICAN BUSINESS LEADER AND FORMER
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE STEVE FORBES IS JOINING
THE ATTACK ON THE GLOBAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS
TREATY, WHICH FACES A CRUCIAL VOTE IN THE SENATE
NEXT WEEK. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS FROM
CAPITOL HILL.

TEXT: THE TREATY'S OPPONENTS CHARGE IT DOES
LITTLE TO STOP ROGUE NATIONS FROM MAKING POISON
GAS, BUT WOULD FORCE AMERICAN CHEMICAL
COMPANIES TO UNDERGO INTRUSIVE INSPECTIONS.
MR. FORBES TOLD SENATORS (TUESDAY) THOSE
INSPECTIONS WOULD VIOLATE THE U-S CONSTITUTION
-- AND GIVE OTHER COUNTRIES A GREEN LIGHT FOR
INDUSTRIAL SPYING.

// FORBES ACT //

NO LONGER WILL VIOLATORS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
RIGHTS IN CHINA, IRAN AND ELSEWHERE HAVE TO GO TO THE
TROUBLE OF PIRATING OUR SECRETS. INCREDIBLY, WE
OURSELVES WILL EFFECTIVELY HAND THEM THE STUFF ON A
SILVER PLATTER.

// END ACT //

THE TREATY'S IMPACT ON BUSINESS IS ONE OF THE
MOST CONTENTIOUS ISSUES IN THE CURRENT DEBATE.
WHILE SOME OF THE COUNTRY'S BIG CHEMICAL
FIRMS ARE SUPPORTING THE TREATY, SMALL AND
MID-SIZED ONES ARE LINED UP AGAINST IT, ON THE
GROUNDS IT WOULD MEAN COSTLY NEW
RECORD-KEEPING AND REGULATIONS.

BUT DEMOCRATIC SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN, WHOSE
STATE IS HOME TO MANY CHEMICAL COMPANIES,
ACCUSES CRITICS OF OVERSTATING THE AGREEMENT'S
EFFECT ON COMMERCE. HE SAYS LAW-ABIDING
INDUSTRIES HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

// BIDEN ACT //

UNFORTUNATELY, WE WILL REWARD THIS RESPONSIBLE
BEHAVIOR WITH A SLAP IN THE FACE IN MY VIEW
IF WE FAIL TO RATIFY THIS CONVENTION AND SUBJECT
THE U-S CHEMICAL INDUSTRY TO INTERNATIONAL
SANCTIONS -- THE SAME SANCTIONS, I MIGHT ADD,
THAT WE OURSELVES INSISTED BE PLACED IN THIS
CONVENTION IN THE FIRST INSTANCE.

// END ACT //

WHILE THE ACCORD PROVIDES FOR INTERNATIONAL
SANCTIONS, REPUBLICANS ARE DRAFTING ANOTHER
CHEMICAL WEAPONS BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW THE
UNITED STATES TO IMPOSE ITS OWN SANCTIONS ON
OTHER COUNTRIES. THE SENATE IS SCHEDULED TO
TAKE UP THAT PROPOSAL THURSDAY. A VOTE ON
THE GLOBAL TREATY ITSELF IS EXPECTED NEXT
WEEK. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/RRM

15-Apr-97 5:20 PM EDT (2120 UTC)