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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (McAllen, Texas)
For Immediate Release                                   February 9, 2000


I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, with Annexes, done at Rotterdam, September 10, 1998. The report of the Department of State is enclosed for the information of the Senate.

The Convention, which was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, with the active participation of the United States, provides a significant and valuable international tool to promote sound risk-based decisionmaking in the trade of certain hazardous chemicals. Building on a successful voluntary procedure, the Convention requires Parties to exchange information about these chemicals, to communicate national decisions about their import, and to require that exports from their territories comply with the import decisions of other Parties.

The United States, with the assistance and cooperation of industry and nongovernmental organization, plays an important international leadership role in the safe management of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. This Convention, which assists developing countries in evaluating risks and enforcing their regulatory decisions regarding trade in such chemicals, advances and promotes U.S. objectives in this regard. All relevant Federal agencies support early ratification of the Convention for this reason, and we understand that the affected industries and interest groups share this view.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent to ratification, subject to the understanding described in the accompanying report of the Secretary of State.


                                 THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                 February 9, 2000.

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