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U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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India and the United States announced July 27, 2007, that they had reached agreement on the text of a nuclear cooperation agreement. Since then, New Delhi and the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA have met four times to formulate a nuclear safeguards agreement. Such an agreement is required by P.L. 109-401, the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006, which President Bush signed into law December 18, 2006. In his signing statement, President Bush noted that the act will strengthen the strategic relationship between the United States and India. With respect to particular provisions, President Bush stated that the executive branch would construe two sections of the bill as advisory only policy statements in Section 103 and the restriction contained in Section 104 d 2 on transferring items to India that would not meet NSG guidelines. On the first, the President cited the Constitutions commitment to the presidency of the authority to conduct the Nations foreign affairs on the second, the President raised the question of whether the provision unconstitutionally delegated legislative power to an international body. In other words, the President was questioning whether Congress were ceding authority to approve U.S. exports to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. However, U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Rice, have formally told Congress multiple times that the United States government would abide by NSG guidelines. The Presidents signing statement also noted that the executive branch would construe provisions of the Act that mandate, regulate, or prohibit submission of information to the Congress, an international organization, in a manner consistent with the Presidents constitutional authority to protect and control information that could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executives constitutional duties.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics

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