George W. Bush photo

Memorandum on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2003

January 30, 2003

Presidential Determination No. 2003-14

Memorandum for the Secretary of State

Subject: Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2003

Pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (FRAA), which was enacted on September 30, 2002, I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

The Majors List applies by its terms to countries. The United States Government interprets the term broadly to include entities that exercise autonomy over actions or omissions that could lead to a decision to place them on the list and, subsequently, to determine their eligibility for certification. A country's presence on the Majors List is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government's counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. Consistent with the statutory definition of a major drug transit or drug producing country set forth in section 481(e)(5) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), one of the reasons that major drug transit or drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographical, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced despite the concerned government's most assiduous enforcement measures.

Pursuant to section 706(2)(A) of the FRAA, I hereby designate Burma, Guatemala, and Haiti as countries that have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and take the measures set forth in section 489(a)(1) of the FAA. Attached to this memorandum are justifications for each of the countries so designated, as required by section 706(2)(B).

I have also determined, in accordance with provisions of section 706(3)(A) of the FRAA, that provision of United States assistance to Guatemala and Haiti in FY 2003 is vital to the national interests of the United States.

Additionally, the alarming increase in the quantity of illegal synthetic drugs entering the United States, especially ecstasy from Europe, is of particular concern. A significant amount of the ecstasy consumed in the United States is manufactured clandestinely in The Netherlands (in 2001, a total of 9.5 million ecstasy tablets were seized in the United States, and the Drug Enforcement Administration believes that the majority of tablets originated in The Netherlands). We are working closely with Dutch authorities to stop the production and export of ecstasy, which we both regard as a serious threat to our citizens. We expect Dutch authorities to move effectively and measurably in the coming year against the production and export of this drug, including dismantling labs and proceeding against trafficking organizations. Early in the year, we plan to discuss specific steps we can take together to reduce drug trafficking.

Although the United States enjoys an excellent level of bilateral cooperation with Canada, the United States Government is concerned that Canada is a primary source of pseudoephedrine and an increasing source of high potency marijuana, which are exported to the United States. Over the past few years there has been an alarming increase in the amount of pseudoephedrine diverted from Canadian sources to clandestine drug laboratories in the United States, where it is used to make methamphetamine. The Government of Canada, for the most part, has not regulated the sale and distribution of precursor chemicals. The regulations to restrict the availability of pseudoephedrine, which the Government of Canada has just promulgated, should be stronger. Notwithstanding Canada's inadequate control of illicit diversion of precursor chemicals, I commend Canadian law enforcement agencies, which continue to work energetically to support our joint law enforcement efforts.

Under section 706 of the FRAA, you are hereby authorized and directed to submit this memorandum to the Congress, and to publish it in the Federal Register.

George W. Bush

Note: This memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 31. The memorandum and its attached statements of explanation will be published in the Federal Register on February 5.

George W. Bush, Memorandum on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2003 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives