Text: H.R.2867 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (11/07/1997)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2867 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2867

  To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to target assistance to 
support the economic and political independence of the countries of the 
                    South Caucasus and Central Asia.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            November 7, 1997

  Mr. Gilman introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                  Committee on International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to target assistance to 
support the economic and political independence of the countries of the 
                    South Caucasus and Central Asia.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Silk Road Strategy Act of 1997''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The ancient Silk Road, once the economic lifeline of 
        Central Asia and the South Caucasus, traversed much of the 
        territory now within the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, 
        Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and 
        Uzbekistan.
            (2) Economic interdependence spurred mutual cooperation 
        among the peoples along the Silk Road and restoration of the 
        historic relationships and economic ties between those peoples 
        is an important element of ensuring their sovereignty as well 
        as the success of democratic and market reforms.
            (3) The development of strong political and economic ties 
        between countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia and 
        the West will foster stability in the region.
            (4) The development of open market economies and open 
        democratic systems in the countries of the South Caucasus and 
        Central Asia will provide positive incentives for international 
        private investment, increased trade, and other forms of 
        commercial interactions with the rest of the world.
            (5) The Caspian Sea Basin, overlapping the territory of the 
        countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, contains 
        proven oil and gas reserves that may exceed $4,000,000,000,000 
        in value.
            (6) The region of the South Caucasus and Central Asia will 
        produce oil and gas in sufficient quantities to reduce the 
        dependence of the United States on energy from the volatile 
        Persian Gulf region.
            (7) United States foreign policy and international 
        assistance should be narrowly targeted to support the economic 
        and political independence of the countries of the South 
        Caucasus and Central Asia.

SEC. 3. POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES.

    It shall be the policy of the United States in the countries of the 
South Caucasus and Central Asia--
            (1) to promote and strengthen independence, sovereignty, 
        and democratic government;
            (2) to assist actively in the resolution of regional 
        conflicts;
            (3) to promote friendly relations and economic cooperation;
            (4) to help promote market-oriented principles and 
        practices;
            (5) to assist in the development of the infrastructure 
        necessary for communications, transportation, and energy and 
        trade on an East-West axis in order to build strong 
        international relations and commerce between those countries 
        and the stable, democratic, and market-oriented countries of 
        the Euro-Atlantic Community; and
            (6) to support United States business interests and 
        investments in the region.

SEC. 4. UNITED STATES EFFORTS TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS IN GEORGIA, 
              AZERBAIJAN, AND TAJIKISTAN.

    It is the sense of Congress that the President should use all 
diplomatic means practicable, including the engagement of senior United 
States Government officials, to press for an equitable, fair, and 
permanent resolution to the conflicts in Georgia and Azerbaijan and the 
civil war in Tajikistan.

SEC. 5. AMENDMENT OF THE FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1961.

    Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:

 ``Chapter 12--Support for the Economic and Political Independence of 
          the Countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia

``SEC. 499. UNITED STATES ASSISTANCE TO PROMOTE RECONCILIATION AND 
              RECOVERY FROM REGIONAL CONFLICTS.

    ``(a) Purpose of Assistance.--The purposes of assistance under this 
section are--
            ``(1) to create the basis for reconciliation between 
        belligerents;
            ``(2) to promote economic development in areas of the 
        countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia impacted by 
        civil conflict and war; and
            ``(3) to encourage broad regional cooperation among 
        countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia that have been 
        destabilized by internal conflicts.
    ``(b) Authorization for Assistance.--
            ``(1) In general.--To carry out the purposes of subsection 
        (a), the President is authorized to provide humanitarian 
        assistance and economic reconstruction assistance under this 
        Act, and assistance under the Migration and Refugee Assistance 
        Act of 1962 (22 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.), to the countries of the 
South Caucasus and Central Asia to support the activities described in 
subsection (c).
            ``(2) Definition of humanitarian assistance.--In this 
        subsection, the term `humanitarian assistance' means assistance 
        to meet urgent humanitarian needs, in particular meeting needs 
        for food, medicine, medical supplies and equipment, and 
        clothing.
    ``(c) Activities Supported.--Activities that may be supported by 
assistance under subsection (b) are limited to--
            ``(1) providing for the essential needs of victims of the 
        conflicts;
            ``(2) facilitating the return of refugees and internally 
        displaced persons to their homes; and
            ``(3) assisting in the reconstruction of residential and 
        economic infrastructure destroyed by war.
    ``(d) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the United States 
should, where appropriate, support the establishment of neutral, 
multinational peacekeeping forces to implement peace agreements reached 
between belligerents in the countries of the South Caucasus and Central 
Asia.

``SEC. 499A. ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE.

    ``(a) Purpose of Assistance.--The purpose of assistance under this 
section is to foster the conditions necessary for regional economic 
cooperation in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
    ``(b) Authorization for Assistance.--To carry out the purpose of 
subsection (a), the President is authorized to provide technical 
assistance to the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia to 
support the activities described in subsection (c).
    ``(c) Activities Supported.--Activities that may be supported by 
assistance under subsection (b) are limited to the development of the 
structures and means necessary for the growth of private sector 
economies based upon market principles.
    ``(d) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the United States 
should--
            ``(1) assist the countries of the South Caucasus and 
        Central Asia to develop laws and regulations that would 
        facilitate the ability of those countries to join the World 
        Trade Organization;
            ``(2) provide permanent nondiscriminatory trade treatment 
        (MFN status) to the countries of the South Caucasus and Central 
        Asia; and
            ``(3) consider the establishment of zero-to-zero tariffs 
        between the United States and the countries of the South 
        Caucasus and Central Asia.

``SEC. 499B. DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE.

    ``(a) Purpose of Assistance.--The purposes of assistance under this 
section are--
            ``(1) to develop the physical infrastructure necessary for 
        regional cooperation among the countries of the South Caucasus 
        and Central Asia; and
            ``(2) to encourage closer economic relations between those 
        countries and the United States and other developed nations.
    ``(b) Authorization for Assistance.--To carry out the purposes of 
subsection (a), the following types of assistance to the countries of 
the South Caucasus and Central Asia are authorized to support the 
activities described in subsection (c):
            ``(1) Activities by the Export-Import Bank to complete the 
        review process for eligibility for financing under the Export-
        Import Bank Act of 1945.
            ``(2) The provision of insurance, reinsurance, financing, 
        or other assistance by the Overseas Private Investment 
        Corporation.
            ``(3) Assistance under section 661 of this Act (relating to 
        the Trade and Development Agency).
    ``(c) Activities Supported.--Activities that may be supported by 
assistance under subsection (b) are limited to promoting actively the 
participation of United States companies and investors in the planning, 
financing, and construction of infrastructure for communications, 
transportation, and energy and trade including highways, railroads, 
port facilities, shipping, banking, insurance, telecommunications 
networks, and gas and oil pipelines.
    ``(d) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the United States 
representatives at the International Bank for Reconstruction and 
Development, the International Finance Corporation, and the European 
Bank for Reconstruction and Development should encourage lending to the 
countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia to assist the 
development of the physical infrastructure necessary for regional 
economic cooperation.

``SEC. 499C. SECURITY ASSISTANCE.

    ``(a) Purpose of Assistance.--The purpose of assistance under this 
section is to assist countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia 
to secure their borders and implement effective controls necessary to 
prevent the trafficking of illegal narcotics and the proliferation of 
technology and materials related to weapons of mass destruction (as 
defined in section 2332a(c)(2) of title 18, United States Code), and to 
contain and inhibit transnational organized criminal activities.
    ``(b) Authorization for Assistance.--To carry out the purpose of 
subsection (a), the President is authorized to provide the following 
types of assistance to the countries of the South Caucasus and Central 
Asia to support the activities described in subsection (c):
            ``(1) Assistance under chapter 5 of part II of this Act 
        (relating to international military education and training).
            ``(2) Assistance under chapter 8 of this part of this Act 
        (relating to international narcotics control assistance).
            ``(3) The transfer of excess defense articles under section 
        516 of this Act (22 U.S.C. 2321j).
    ``(c) Activities Supported.--Activities that may be supported by 
assistance under subsection (b) are limited to assisting those 
countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia in developing 
capabilities to maintain national border guards, coast guard, and 
customs controls.
    ``(d) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the United States 
should encourage and assist the development of regional military 
cooperation among the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia 
through programs such as the Central Asian Battalion and the 
Partnership for Peace of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

``SEC. 499D. STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY, TOLERANCE, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF 
              CIVIL SOCIETY.

    ``(a) Purpose of Assistance.--The purpose of assistance under this 
section is to promote institutions of democratic government and to 
create the conditions for the growth of pluralistic societies, 
including religious tolerance.
    ``(b) Authorization for Assistance.--To carry out the purpose of 
subsection (a), the President is authorized to provide the following 
types of assistance to the countries of the South Caucasus and Central 
Asia.
            ``(1) Technical assistance for democracy building.
            ``(2) Technical assistance for the development of 
        nongovernmental organizations.
            ``(3) Technical assistance for development of independent 
        media.
            ``(4) Technical assistance for the development of the rule 
        of law.
            ``(5) International exchanges and advanced professional 
        training programs in skill areas central to the development of 
        civil society.
    ``(c) Activities Supported.--Activities that may be supported by 
assistance under subsection (b) are limited to activities that directly 
and specifically are designed to advance progress toward the 
development of democracy.
    ``(d) Policy.--It is the sense of Congress that the Voice of 
America and RFE/RL, Incorporated, should maintain high quality 
broadcasting for the maximum duration possible in the native languages 
of the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia.

``SEC. 499E. INELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE.

    ``(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), assistance 
may not be provided under this chapter for a country of the South 
Caucasus or Central Asia if the President determines and certifies to 
the appropriate congressional committees that the country--
            ``(1) is engaged in a consistent pattern of gross 
        violations of internationally recognized human rights;
            ``(2) has, on or after the date of enactment of this 
        chapter, knowingly transferred to another country--
                    ``(A) missiles or missile technology inconsistent 
                with the guidelines and parameters of the Missile 
                Technology Control Regime (as defined in section 11B(c) 
                of the Export Administration Act of 1979 950 U.S.C. 
                App. 2410b(c); or
                    ``(B) any material, equipment, or technology that 
                would contribute significantly to the ability of such 
                country to manufacture any weapon of mass destruction 
                (including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons) 
                if the President determines that the material, 
                equipment, or technology was to be used by such country 
                in the manufacture of such weapons;
            ``(3) has supported acts of international terrorism;
            ``(4) is prohibited from receiving such assistance by 
        chapter 10 of the Arms Export Control Act or section 306(a)(1) 
        and 307 of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and 
        Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (22 U.S.C. 5604(a)(1), 5605); 
        or
            ``(5) has initiated an act of aggression against another 
        state in the region after the date of enactment of the Silk 
        Road Strategy Act of 1997.
    ``(b) Exception to Ineligibility.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), 
assistance may be provided under this chapter if the President 
determines and certifies in advance to the appropriate congressional 
committees that the provision of such assistance is important to the 
national interest of the United States.

``SEC. 499F. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES.

    ``(a) Assistance Through Governments and Nongovernmental 
Organizations.--Assistance under this chapter may be provided to 
governments or through nongovernmental organizations.
    ``(b) Use of Economic Support Funds.--Except as otherwise provided, 
any funds that have been allocated under chapter 4 of part II for 
assistance for the independent states of the former Soviet Union may be 
used in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
    ``(c) Terms and Conditions.--Assistance under this chapter shall be 
provided on such terms and conditions as the President may determine.
    ``(d) Superseding Existing Law.--The authority to provide 
assistance under this chapter supersedes any other provision of law, 
except for--
            ``(1) this chapter;
            ``(2) section 634A of this Act and comparable notification 
        requirements contained in sections of the annual foreign 
        operations, export financing, and related programs Act;
            ``(3) section 907 of the Freedom for Russia and Emerging 
        Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 (22 
        U.S.C. 5812 note; relating to restriction on assistance to 
        Azerbaijan), except such section shall not apply with respect 
        to--
                    ``(A) activities to provide humanitarian assistance 
                under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 
                (22 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.);
                    ``(B) activities to support democratic reforms and 
                democratic governance;
                    ``(C) assistance for the control of narcotic and 
                psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances, or 
                for other anticrime purposes, under section 481(a)(4) 
                of this Act (22 U.S.C. 2291(a)(4));
                    ``(D) assistance under programs carried out under 
                section 1424 of the National Defense Authorization Act 
                for Fiscal Year 1997 (50 U.S.C. 2333);
                    ``(E) assistance provided by the Trade and 
                Development Agency under section 661 of this Act (22 
                U.S.C. 2421) ; and
                    ``(F) activities carried out by the United States 
                and Foreign Commercial Service; and
            ``(4) section 1341 of title 31, United States Code 
        (commonly referred to as the ``Anti-Deficiency Act''), the 
        Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the 
        Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, and 
        the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.

``SEC. 499G. DEFINITIONS.

    ``In this chapter:
            ``(1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on 
        Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on 
        International Relations of the House of Representatives.
            ``(2) Countries of the south caucasus and central asia.--
        The term `countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia' 
        means Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgystan, 
        Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.''.

SEC. 6. ANNUAL REPORT.

    Beginning one year after the date of enactment of this Act, and 
annually thereafter, the President shall submit a report to the 
appropriate congressional committees--
            (1) identifying the progress of United States foreign 
        policy to accomplish the policy identified in section 3;
            (2) evaluating the degree to which the assistance 
        authorized by chapter 12 of part I of the Foreign Assistance 
        Act of 1961, as added by section 5 of this Act, was able to 
        accomplish the purposes identified in those sections; and
            (3) recommending any additional initiatives that should be 
        undertaken by the United States to implement the policy and 
        purposes contained in this Act.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the Committee on 
        Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on 
        International Relations of the House of Representatives.
            (2) Countries of the south caucasus and central asia.--The 
        term ``countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia'' means 
        Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, 
        Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
                                 <all>