Contact: Mokie Pratt Porter, Communications Director 202-628-2700 Ext.
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA SAYS CERTIFYING VIETNAM'S COOPERATION
ON POW/MIA'S PREMATURE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18, 1998)
Vietnam Veterans of America strongly objects to President Clinton's
March 4, 1998, decision to certify the government of Vietnam at "fully
cooperating in good faith" with U.S. efforts to account for missing
American soldiers from the Vietnam War. This certification and the subsequent
March 10, 1998, waiver of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Reform
Act of 1974, removed the major obstacles to full economic and trade relations
The Jackson-Vanik Amendment bars the U.S. government from giving trade
and investment funding to communist nations that do not allow their citizens
to emigrate or travel abroad freely, unless the President certifies compliance
with human rights and emigrations. The amendment also has very specific
language regarding U.S. personnel missing in action in Southeast Asia and
Vietnam's cooperation to (1) to achieve a complete accounting of all United
States military and civilian personnel who are missing in action in Southeast
Asia; (2) to repatriate such personnel who are alive; and (3) to return
the remains of such personnel who are dead to the United States.
President Clinton has certified Vietnam as "fully cooperating in
good faith" without waiting for all the data from the National Intelligence
Estimate which is ongoing and soon to be released. The National Intelligence
Estimate will measure whether Vietnam is meeting U.S. intelligence expectations
on the disclosure of information or remains associated with captured and
missing American servicemen from the Vietnam War. To proceed with certification
for Vietnam without all available intelligence information does not serve
the best interest of the missing and their families.
Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation's only congressionally
chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of
Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's founding principle is "Never
again will one generation of veterans abandon another."
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