Signing of US-India Nuclear Deal Undermines Nonproliferation and Congressional Intent

For Immediate Release

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Contact: 

Leonor Tomero 202.546.0795 ext. 2104
202.262.3211 (mobile)
ltomero@armscontrolcenter.org

Signing of US-India Nuclear Deal Undermines Nonproliferation and Congressional Intent

Bush signed legislation this afternoon

WASHINGTON - The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation warned that the
U.S.-India nuclear agreement signed into law today, which reverses
long-standing U.S. policy to allow nuclear trade with India, has gone
from bad to worse as India pressed the administration to go back on its
promises to Congress.

Leonor Tomero, Director of Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, stated: "This
deal has gone from bad to worse. From beginning to end, India played
hard ball and won. After the administration caved to Indian demands in
negotiations for the past three years, dangerously undermining
nonproliferation and disregarding Congress, it again sided with India
against U.S. security interests and against Congress by trying to
disregard the very minimal nonproliferation provisions included in
recently-passed congressional legislation
."

President Bush signed the legislation into law this afternoon and
included a signing statement to allay India's concerns about the
minimal congressional conditions that were included in the legislation.
The statement noted, "The legislation does not change the fuel
assurance commitments that the U.S. Government has made to the
Government of India, as recorded in the 123 Agreement."

This statement contradicts the statements of policy by Congress in
the legislation it approved last week related to the "Transfer of
Nuclear Equipment, Materials, and Technology to India." Congress
stipulated that it is U.S. policy to seek to prevent the transfer to
India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other
participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any
other source, and that any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided
to the Government of India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear
facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating
requirements.

The signing of the deal with India reportedly was delayed, despite
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's trip to New Delhi last Saturday,
because of India's concern about the provisions in the congressional
legislation and its preference to wait for the President to issue a
signing statement about those provisions.

Tomero added: "The administration not only failed to
protect U.S. interests and heed congressional conditions, but set up a
framework that will allow India and other countries, including France
and Russia, to reap the benefits of engaging in nuclear trade without
any conditions
."

It is expected that the U.S. nuclear companies will not be in a
position to sign contracts with India for several months or years
because India has not yet made a declaration of its safeguarded
facilities or adhered to the Convention on Supplementary Compensation
for Nuclear Damage which is necessary to provide liability guarantees
to U.S. industry. French and Russian companies stand to benefit from
these circumstances.

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Founded in 1980, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a leading advocate for prudent measures to prevent the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Visit the Center online: www.armscontrolcenter.org   

The Campaign for Responsibility in Nuclear Trade is a partnership project that believes the United States and India can and should expand their ties and common interests as free democracies, but opposes the proposed U.S.-Indian nuclear trade agreement.  For more information, please visit www.responsiblenucleartrade.com

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