Summary: H.R.2709 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (05/22/1998)


Title I: Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions

Title II: Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation

Subtitle A: General Provisions

Subtitle B: Penalties for Unlawful Activities Subject

to the Jurisdiction of the United States

Subtitle C: Inspections

Subtitle D: Reports

Subtitle E: Enforcement

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous Provisions

Title I: Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions - Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1997 - Directs the President to report periodically to specified congressional committees on foreign persons who, on or after January 22, 1998, have transferred, or attempted to transfer, controlled goods or technology, or provided, or attempted to provide, technical assistance or facilities that contributed, or would have contributed, to Iran's efforts to acquire, develop, or produce ballistic missiles. Excludes from identification in such reports any such persons who were previously identified or sanctioned, who are subject to a waiver, or who have acted on behalf of, or in concert with, the United States.

(Sec. 103) Requires imposition on such persons of minimum two-year sanctions prohibiting: (1) sales to such persons of items on the United States Munitions List (and terminating sales of any controlled U.S. arms); (2) the export to such persons of dual use goods and technology; and (3) the provision of U.S. financial assistance. Authorizes the President to waive such sanctions on the basis of U.S. national security or additional information demonstrating that the sanctioned person did not commit the acts alleged.

(Sec. 107) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should exercise specified authority under the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 to prevent: (1) the transfer through purchase, barter, or other acquisition of weapons-related material and delivery systems to Iran; and (2) the transfer to Iran of scientific and technical expertise with respect to such material and systems. Authorizes the use of certain assistance, otherwise available for the independent states of the former Soviet Union under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, to prevent such transfers.

Title II: Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation - Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1997 - Subtitle A: General Provisions - Directs the President to designate the Department of State to be the United States National Authority to serve as the focal point for liaison with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, opened for signature on January 13, 1993.

(Sec. 213) Grants the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (and concurrently U.S. district courts for claims under $10,000) jurisdiction over civil actions: (1) against the United States for the taking of property (including proprietary information) without just compensation that occurs by reason of any action by an OPCW employee or a U.S. employee pursuant to this Act or the Convention; and (2) for money damages for torts under the Constitution or Federal or State law arising from the acts or omissions of such employees.

Grants the United States authority to bring an action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, or in any international tribunal, against any foreign nation for money damages for refusing to indemnify the United States for any liability imposed on it by virtue of the actions of an inspector of the OPCW Technical Secretariat who is a national of that foreign nation acting at its direction or behest.

Authorizes specified tort actions by U.S. nationals and business entities against foreign nationals or business entities.

Declares it is U.S. policy to recoup all funds withdrawn from the Treasury in payment for any tort under Federal or State law or taking under the Constitution arising from the acts or omissions of any foreign person, officer, or OPCW employee, including any member of a Technical Secretariat inspection team, taken under color of the Convention or this Act.

Specifies minimum ten-year sanctions against such persons, as well as any foreign person or business entity for unauthorized disclosure of confidential business information, including: (1) arms export prohibitions; (2) controlled goods or technology export prohibitions; (3) opposition to financial or technical assistance by international financial institutions; (4) denial of Export-Import Bank guarantees; (5) prohibition of private U.S. bank credit; (6) blocking of assets under U.S. jurisdiction; and (7) denial of non-emergency landing rights to private aircraft or air carriers owned by such a person. Requires similar sanctions against foreign governments assisting or encouraging unauthorized disclosure of confidential business information. Provides for suspension or waiver of such sanctions.

Requires denial of visa to, and exclusion from the United States of, any current or former OPCW officer or employee, or any corporate officer, principal, or shareholder with a controlling interest of any entity, including spouses and children, for unauthorized disclosure of U.S. confidential business information or traffic in such information.

Subtitle B: Penalties for Unlawful Activities Subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States - Amends the Federal criminal code to make it unlawful for any person knowingly to develop, acquire, transfer, stockpile, possess, or use any chemical weapon. Makes such provision inapplicable to the retention, ownership, possession, or transfer of a chemical weapon by a Federal agency or a duly authorized person.

(Sec. 221) Specifies both criminal and civil penalties for violations of this prohibition. Provides for forfeiture of property owned or used by a person involved in such a violation, as well as U.S. injunctive relief against such conduct.

Authorizes the Attorney General to request the Secretary of Defense for military assistance to enforce this prohibition in emergencies involving a chemical weapon.

(Sec. 222) Authorizes the President to suspend or revoke the export authority of any person within the United States, or any U.S. national located outside the United States, if such person has violated this title.

Subtitle C: Inspections - Requires OPCW Technical Secretariat inspections of plants, plant sites, or other locations in the United States which are subject under the Convention to a Schedule two or Schedule three facility agreement.

(Sec. 233) Sets forth provisions with respect to the authority to conduct, procedures (including search warrants) for, and scope of facility inspections.

(Sec. 236) Makes it unlawful for any person willfully to fail or refuse to permit entry or inspection, or to disrupt, delay, or impede an inspection of a facility.

(Sec. 237) Authorizes the President, consistent with the objective of eliminating chemical weapons, to deny inspection of a facility in cases where it may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.

(Sec. 238) Amends the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act to declare that a contractor may not be required, as a condition of entering a Federal contract, to waive any constitutional right for any purpose related to the Convention or this Act.

(Sec. 239) Requires the President to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees, in both classified and unclassified form, on inspections made under the Convention during the preceding year.

(Sec. 240) Authorizes the Secretary of Defense, at the request of an owner of a facility not owned or operated, or contracted for use, by the Federal Government to assist the facility in preparing for possible inspections under the Convention. Requires reimbursement of the Secretary's costs by: (1) the facility owner; or (2) the United States National Authority, in the case of small business concerns or certain domestic producers of Schedule three or unscheduled discrete organic chemicals.

Subtitle D: Reports - Requires the United States National Authority to establish requirements of recordkeeping and reporting by persons who produce, process, consume, export, or import chemical substances subject to the Convention, or who propose to engage in such activities.

(Sec. 252) Prohibits a person located in the United States from being required to report on, or to submit to, an inspection to verify the production, possession, consumption, exportation, or importation of any substance that: (1) contains less than specified concentrations of a Schedule two or Schedule three chemical; or (2) is an unscheduled discrete organic chemical that is a coincidental byproduct of a manufacturing process that is not isolated for use or sale during the process and is routed to, or escapes from, the waste stream of a stack, incinerator or wastewater treatment system, or any other waste stream.

(Sec. 254) Exempts from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, with specified exceptions, any information reported to or obtained by the U.S. Government under this Act or under the Convention. Sets forth criminal penalties for unlawful disclosure.

(Sec. 255) Makes it unlawful to fail to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Subtitle E: Enforcement - Provides for civil and criminal penalties for specified violations of this Act, as well as specific enforcement of this Act and expedited judicial review.

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act, 1978 to repeal certain congressional and community notification requirements concerning the use of humans for the testing of chemical or biological agents.

(Sec. 272) Prohibits the Secretary of Defense or any other U.S. employee from: (1) conducting any test involving the use of any chemical or biological agent on a civilian population; or (2) using human subjects for the testing of chemical or biological agents.

(Sec. 273) Amends the Federal bankruptcy code with respect to exemption from the automatic stay, upon filing of a bankruptcy petition, of an action or proceeding by a governmental unit to enforce its police or regulatory power, or the enforcement of a non-monetary judgment obtained in such an action or proceeding. Repeals such exemption except with respect to exercise of authority under the Convention.

Exempts from the automatic stay any action or proceeding by a governmental unit or any organization exercising authority under the Convention to enforce its police and regulatory power, including the enforcement of a non-monetary judgment obtained in such an action or proceeding.