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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    106-195

======================================================================



 
                  RUSSIAN FEDERATION FISHERY AGREEMENT

                                _______
                                

 June 22, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1653]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1653) to approve a governing international fishery 
agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1653 is to approve a governing 
international fisheries agreement between the United States and 
the Russian Federation.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The United States and Russian Federation maintain the 
bilateral Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) 
fisheries forum pursuant to the U.S.-Soviet Comprehensive 
Fisheries Agreement, signed on May 31, 1988. The ICC is 
responsible for furthering the objectives of the Comprehensive 
Fisheries Agreement. The objectives of the Agreement include 
maintaining a mutually beneficial and equitable fisheries 
relationship through cooperative scientific research and 
exchanges; reciprocal allocation of surplus fish within the 
respective 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), consistent 
with national laws; cooperation and the establishment of joint 
fishing ventures; general consultations on fisheries matters of 
mutual concern; and cooperation to address illegal fishing on 
the high seas of the North Pacific and the Bering Sea.
    The first meeting of the ICC was held in Washington, D.C., 
in February 1989. Through the ICC forum, the U.S. and Russia 
have developed or coordinated the development of multilateral 
international conventions designed to address major fisheries 
conservation problems in the North Pacific Ocean and associated 
seas. The Convention for the Conservation of Anadromous Stocks 
in the North Pacific Ocean brought an end to the last legal 
high seas salmon fishery in the world and was developed through 
the ICC forum. In addition, the two countries signed an 
agreement to govern the harvest of salmon stocks within their 
EEZs. Among other things, this agreement restricts salmon 
fisheries to within 25 nautical miles of the countries' 
respective coastlines. This agreement went into effect in 
September 1992. The two countries have also cooperated on 
addressing the conservation of pollock and other species.
    The most recent ICC meeting was held in January 1999, in 
Seattle, Washington. One issue which was raised at this meeting 
concerns the interception of U.S.-origin salmon in Russian 
waters by either Russian or Japanese vessels.
    The ICC forum has allowed the U.S. industry the opportunity 
to enter into harvesting, marketing, processing and other 
commercial fishing ventures with the Russian industry in the 
Russian zone.
    The original U.S.-Soviet Comprehensive Fisheries Agreement 
was authorized as a Governing International Fishery Agreement 
(GIFA) for the period of 1988-1993. In 1993, the Agreement was 
extended, by diplomatic notes, until December 31, 1998. GIFAs 
go into effect in one of two ways. Congress can pass 
legislation which specifically authorizes the GIFA or if 
Congress does not act, the GIFA goes into effect 120 days 
(excluding any days when the Congress is adjourned sine die) 
after the President transmits to the GIFA to Congress. H.R. 
1653 approves the U.S.-Russia GIFA to allow continued 
participation in the ICC.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1653 was introduced by request on April 29, 1999, by 
Congressmen Don Young (R-AK), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), and Eni 
Faleomavaega (D-AS). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. On March 11, 1999, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing where the merits of the U.S.-
Soviet Comprehensive Fishery Agreement was discussed. 
Administration testified in support of this Agreement. On May 
6, 1999, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. No 
amendments were offered and it was ordered favorably reported 
to the Full Committee by voice vote. On June 9, 1999, the Full 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. No amendments 
were offered and the bill was ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation.--Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act.--As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings.--Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of 
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on 
Government Reform on this bill.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.--Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 17, 1999.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1653, a bill to 
approve a governing international fishery agreement between the 
United States and the Russian Federation.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 1653--A bill to approve a governing international fishery 
        agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation

    H.R. 1633 would approve a fishing agreement between the 
United States and the Russian Federation. CBO estimates that 
enacting the bill would have no budgetary impact. H.R. 1653 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no 
significant impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The agreement with the Russian Federation provides for 
cooperating on scientific research and exchanges, allocating 
surplus fish within exclusive economic zones, establishing 
joint fishing ventures, consulting on fisheries matters of 
mutual concern, and cooperating to address illegal fishing on 
the high seas of the North Pacific and the Bering Sea. The 
Congress may pass legislation specifically authorizing the 
agreement or, if the Congress does not act, the agreement will 
go into effect 120 days after the President transmits the 
agreement to the Congress.
    The CBO staff contacts is Deborah Reis. The estimate was 
approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.