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Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2004

September 15, 2003

Presidential Determination No. 2003-38

Memorandum for the Secretary of State

Subject: Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2004

Consistent with section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (the "FRAA"), 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 (the "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. Consistent with section 706(2)(A) of the FRAA, I hereby designate Burma 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 report are justifications (statements of explanation) 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 U.S. assistance to Haiti in FY 2004 is vital to the national interests of the United States.

Combating the threat of synthetic drugs remains a priority, particularly the threat from club drugs, including MDMA (Ecstasy). Since January, we have redoubled our efforts with The Netherlands, from which the majority of U.S. MDMA seizures originate. I commend the Government of The Netherlands for its efforts to address this scourge, including increased enforcement, improved risk assessment and targeting capabilities of passenger aircraft and cargo, and international cooperation to control precursor chemicals. I urge the Government of The Netherlands to focus its efforts on dismantling the significant criminal organizations responsible for this illicit trade, using all tools available to law enforcement. Continued progress in implementing our joint action plan, developed in March, should have a significant impact on the production and transit of MDMA from The Netherlands to the United States. Although we have seen a stabilization of MDMA use rates domestically, there is an increase in the number of countries in which MDMA is produced and trafficked. We will continue to monitor the threat from synthetic drugs and the emerging trends.

The United States and Canada are both targeted by international trafficking organizations. We continue to work closely with the Government of Canada to stem the flow of illicit drugs to our countries and across our common borders. The United States remains concerned about the diversion of large quantities of precursor chemicals from Canada into the United States for use in producing methamphetamines. We hope that Canada's newly implemented control regulations will disrupt that flow. The United States is also concerned about widespread Canadian cultivation of high-potency marijuana, significant amounts of which are smuggled into the United States from Canada. We will work with the Government of Canada in the coming year to combat these shared threats to the security and health of our citizens.

In the 8 months since my January determination that Guatemala had failed demonstrably in regard to its counternarcotics responsibilities, the Government of Guatemala has made efforts to improve its institutional capabilities, adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements, and take measures set forth in U.S. law. These initial steps show Guatemala's willingness to better its counternarcotics practices, but the permanence of these improvements has yet to be demonstrated. I expect Guatemala to continue its efforts and to demonstrate further progress in the coming year.

We are deeply concerned about heroin and methamphetamine linked to North Korea being trafficked to East Asian countries, and are increasingly convinced that state agents and enterprises in the DPRK are involved in the narcotics trade. While we suspect opium poppy is cultivated in the DPRK, reliable information confirming the extent of opium production is currently lacking. There are also clear indications that North Koreans traffic in, and probably manufacture, methamphetamine. In recent years, authorities in the region have routinely seized shipments of methamphetamine and/or heroin that had been transferred to traffickers' ships from North Korean vessels. The April 2003 seizure of 125 kilograms of heroin smuggled to Australia aboard the North Korean-owned vessel "Pong Su" is the latest and largest seizure of heroin pointing to North Korean complicity in the drug trade. Although there is no evidence that narcotics originating in or transiting North Korea reach the United States, the United States is intensifying its effort to stop North Korean involvement in illicit narcotics production and trafficking and to enhance law-enforcement cooperation with affected countries in the region to achieve that objective.

You are hereby authorized and directed to submit this report under section 706 of the FRAA, transmit it to the Congress, and publish it in the Federal Register.

George W. Bush

Note: This memorandum was published in the Federal Register on September 19.

George W. Bush, Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for 2004 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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