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H.Doc.108-81 CONTINUATION OF WAIVER UNDER THE TRADE ACT OF 1974 WITH RESPECT TO THE ...


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108th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 108-80


 
  CONTINUATION OF WAIVER UNDER THE TRADE ACT OF 1974 WITH RESPECT TO 
                                VIETNAM

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              TRANSMITTING

   NOTIFICATION OF HIS DETERMINATION THAT CONTINUATION OF THE WAIVER 
    CURRENTLY IN EFFECT FOR VIETNAM WILL SUBSTANTIALLY PROMOTE THE 
  OBJECTIVES OF SECTION 402 OF THE TRADE ACT OF 1974, PURSUANT TO 19 
                         U.S.C. 2432(c) AND (d)

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


June 3, 2003.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                      Washington, DC, May 29, 2003.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I hereby transmit the document referred 
to in subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974 (the 
``Act''), as amended, with respect to the continuation of a 
waiver of application of subsections (a) and (b) of section 402 
of the Act to Vietnam. This document constitutes my 
recommendation to continue in effect this waiver for a further 
12-month period and includes my determination that continuation 
of the waiver currently in effect for Vietnam will 
substantially promote the objectives of section 402 of the Act 
and my reasons for such determination.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
Report to the Congress Concerning the Extension of Waiver Authority for 
                                Vietnam

    Pursuant to Subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended (``the Act''), I hereby recommend further extension 
of the waiver authority granted by Subsection 402(c) of the Act 
for 12 months. I have determined that such extension will 
substantially promote the objectives of section 402 of the Act, 
and that continuation of the waiver currently applicable to 
Vietnam will also substantially promote the objectives of 
Section 402 of the Act. My determination is attached and is 
incorporated herein.

                  FREEDOM OF EMIGRATION DETERMINATION

    Overall, Vietnam's emigration policy has liberalized 
considerably in the last decade and a half. Vietnam has a solid 
record of cooperation with the United States to permit 
Vietnamese emigration. Over 500,000 Vietnamese emigrated as 
refugees or immigrants to the United States under the Orderly 
Departure Program (ODP), and only a small number of refugee 
applicants remain to be processed.
    On September 30, 1999, the Department of State closed the 
ODP office in Bangkok, Thailand and opened the Refugee 
Resettlement Section (RRS) at the United States Consulate 
General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The RRS continues to 
process the small number of remaining cases from the ODP and 
Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) 
programs. An in-country program to address the rescue needs of 
individuals who have suffered recent persecution or who have a 
well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, 
religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, 
or political opinion, is also managed by the RRS.
    As of April 21, 2003, the Government of Vietnam (GVN) has 
cleared for interview all but 42 of the nearly 21,000 
individuals who applied for consideration under the ROVR 
program. This is an increase of 21 from last year as several 
cases that were previously closed were reactivated after 
applicants reinitiated contact with the RRS. Many of those 
awaiting clearance are family members who were added on to the 
case after the principal applicants had received interview 
clearance from the GVN. Applicants cleared for interview by the 
GVN must gather necessary documents to support their 
applications and be scheduled for an interview with the Bureau 
of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). The BCIS has 
approved 17,228 for admission to the United States, 16,439 of 
whom have departed from Vietnam for the United States. An 
additional 9 individuals await BCIS interview. The GVN 
cooperates with the United States Government to process 
applicants under the ROVR program. The GVN issues passports to 
Vietnamese approved for admission to the United States and 
expedites the departure clearance process.
    Completion of the Former Re-education Camp Detainees 
program, known popularly as the ``HO'' program, remains a high 
priority. To be eligible for this program, applicants must have 
been detained for at least 3 years in a re-education camp 
because of their association with the United States or the 
former South Vietnamese Government. As of April 21, there were 
15 HO cases (comprising 80 persons) awaiting passports.
    A sub-group of the HO program consists of the applicants 
covered by the ``McCain Amendment'' (Public Law 104-208, as 
amended). These applicants are persons over the age of 21 who 
are the sons and daughters of former re-education camp 
detainees who were approved for admission as refugees and for 
various reasons were not included in their parents' cases. As 
the result of extensions and modifications to the legislation 
since its initial passage in October 1996, over 11,000 adult 
children and their accompanying family members have been able 
to join their parents in the United States. The number of 
children eligible for processing in this category changes 
constantly as new applications are received and others are 
processed and depart for the United States. As of April 21, 278 
cases (comprising 760 individuals) are being processed for 
resettlement under this program.
    The GVN is also cooperating on refugee cases involving 
Montagnards, a term commonly used to identify members of ethnic 
minorities who traditionally have lived in Central Highland 
areas. Only 9 cases (consisting of 85 people) remain to be 
cleared for interview. Since June 1, 2002, 34 Montagnard cases 
(156 individuals) have departed Vietnam under various 
immigration and refugee programs.
    In June 2002, the United States Government completed 
interviews of the 704 cases determined eligible for 
consideration for refugee status under the ODP sub-program for 
former United States Government employees (commonly referred to 
as the U-11 program). These cases had not previously been 
interviewed because the United States Government suspended the 
program in 1996. The RRS will process an additional nine 
casesthat had been presumed abandoned by the applicants, but who later 
contacted the RRS to reactivate their applications. Of the class 
approved for refugee resettlement in the United States, only 15 cases 
have yet to depart Vietnam. None are being restrained from leaving by 
the GVN.
    The GVN also continues to cooperate in the timely 
processing of current non-refugee immigrant visa cases. In the 
first half of fiscal year 2003, our consular sections issued 
6,864 immigrant visas and 6,312 non-immigrant visas. The 
Department of State anticipates that demand in Vietnam for 
immigrant and non-immigrant visas will grow.
    The United States will not consider our refugee programs to 
be completed until the last applicant has had the opportunity 
to be interviewed or we have an acceptable accounting for each 
case. United States Government officials both in Washington and 
Vietnam will continue to press the GVN at every level to 
authorize interviews for all those applicants determined 
eligible for consideration for settlement in the United States 
as refugees.
    These efforts, together with the extension of the Jackson-
Vanik waiver, will encourage the Vietnamese to further 
liberalize their emigration policy and to continue to resolve 
procedural issues that affect our refugee and immigration 
programs.
                [Presidential Determination No. 2003-24]

                                           The White House,
                                      Washington, DC, May 29, 2003.
Memorandum for the Secretary of State.
Subject: Determination Under Subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 
        1974, as Amended--Continuation of Waiver Authority for Vietnam.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me under the Trade Act 
of 1974, as amended, Public Law 93-618, 88 Stat. 1978 
(hereinafter the ``Act''), I determine, pursuant to subsection 
402(d)(1) of the Act, 19 U.S.C. 2432(d)(1), that the further 
extension of the waiver authority granted by section 402 of the 
Act will substantially promote the objectives of section 402 of 
the Act. I further determine that continuation of the waiver 
applicable to Vietnam will substantially promote the objectives 
of section 402 of the Act.
    You are authorized and directed to publish this 
determination in the Federal Register.

                                                    George W. Bush.

                                <all>


Pages: 1

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