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 Home > News & Policies > January 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 31, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary
Annual Presidential Determinations of Major Illicit Drug-Producing and Drug-Transit Countries

Acting on recommendations from the Secretary of State, President Bush has sent to Congress his annual report listing the major illicit drug producing and drug-transit countries (known as the "Majors List"). In the same report, he has provided his determinations on which of these countries has "failed demonstrably to make substantial efforts" during the previous 12 months to adhere to international counternarcotics agreements and to take the counternarcotics measures specified in U.S. law.

This procedure is changed from prior years as a result of the passage of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, 2002-2003 (P.L.107-228)(FRAA). Section 706 of the Act, makes permanent the "failed demonstrably" standard adopted last year for "majors list" country certifications, and consolidates the identification of the "majors list" countries with the certification process into a single report. A fact sheet will be made available by the Department of State to explain the other changes to the certification process in the Act.

As in previous years, this year's certification determinations required the President to consider each country's performance in areas such as stemming illicit cultivation, extraditing drug traffickers, and taking legal steps and law enforcement measures to prevent and punish public corruption that facilitates drug trafficking or impedes prosecution of drug-related crimes. The President also had to consider efforts taken by these countries to stop production and export of, and reduce the domestic demand for, illegal drugs.

In his report, the President identified 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 President also reported to Congress his determinations that Burma, Guatemala, and Haiti failed demonstrably, during the previous 12 months, to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and to take the measures set forth in U.S. law. The President determined, however, that provision of United States assistance to Guatemala and Haiti in FY 2003 is vital to the national interests of the United States. Therefore, under provisions of the FRAA, these two countries will receive assistance, notwithstanding their counternarcotics performance. The President did not make this determination with respect to Burma.

The President's report also noted the alarming increase in the quantity of ecstasy (MDMA) entering the United States, of which a significant amount is manufactured clandestinely in the Netherlands. Additionally, the President cited his concern that Canada is a primary source of pseudoephedrine, which is exported to the United States and used in clandestine drug laboratories to make methamphetamine, and that Canada is an increasing source of high potency marijuana that is exported to the United States. The President expressed his desire to continue to work closely in a continuing partnership with the governments of the Netherlands and Canada to address these issues.

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