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July 25, 2000
The gum arabic provision would infringe on the President's flexibility to conduct foreign policy and would weaken U.S. sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1997 because of its support for terrorist activities and human rights violations. The sanctions should be lifted only when there is a demonstrable improvement in Sudanese policies, which has not occurred to date.
A blanket removal of the import prohibition for a specific Sudanese product, regardless of the continued behavior of the Sudanese regime, is inappropriate and limits the President's ability to make moderate adjustments in the sanctions as circumstances change.
The Administration is prepared to address the need for further limited sanctions relief for gum arabic processors, as has been provided over the past two years. However, we believe that permanently lifting the sanctions on gum arabic at this time would be an unwarranted benefit to Sudan, notwithstanding the limited benefit derived by the Sudanese government, and could undermine the efficacy of the sanctions regime.
H.R. 4868 would affect revenue; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1990. OMB's preliminary scoring estimate is under development.