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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 29, 2003
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
The Clean Diamond Trade Act (Public Law 108-19) (the "Act") authorizes the President to prohibit the importation into, or exportation from, the United States of any rough diamond that has not been "controlled through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme." Section 15 of the Act provides that the Act shall take effect on the date on which the President certifies to the Congress that (1) an applicable waiver that has been granted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is in effect, or (2) an applicable decision in a resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations is in effect. Section 15 further provides that the Act shall thereafter remain in effect during those periods in which, as certified by the President to the Congress, such an applicable waiver or decision is in effect.
On May 15, 2003, the WTO General Council (copy attached) adopted a waiver decision pursuant to Article IX of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) concerning the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds (Certification Scheme). The decision waives the following provisions of the WTO Agreement's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994: paragraph 1 of Article I, paragraph 1 of Article XI, and paragraph 1 of Article XIII, for measures taken consistent with the Certification Scheme that are necessary to prohibit the export of rough diamonds to, or import of rough diamonds from, non-Participants in the Certification Scheme. The decision further provides that the waiver applies to the United States and other WTO members that requested the waiver and to any WTO member that notifies the WTO of its desire to be covered by the waiver. The waiver has retroactive effect to January 1, 2003, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2006.
Exercising my discretion under the Act, I hereby certify that an applicable waiver, within the meaning of section 15 of the Clean Diamond Trade Act, granted by the World Trade Organization is in effect and will remain in effect until December 31, 2006.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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