For Immediate Release
September 9, 1999
Contact: Jim Farrell or Andy McDonald (202) 224-8440
Wellstone Calls for Halt of U.S. Trade Assistance to Indonesia
Cites Brutal Violence Against East Timor
Senator Paul Wellstone called upon President Clinton today to order U.S. trade agencies to halt activity in Indonesia, citing the brutal violence occurring in East Timor. At a joint hearing of Senate and House subcommittees, Wellstone said it was crucial that the U.S. make it clear to Indonesia that we are serious about ending the repression and violence.
"Indonesia's elites and its government depend deeply upon the loans, loan guarantees, political risk insurance and other financial instruments provided by the U.S. government to spur direct foreign investments there. I am calling on President Clinton to order the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Ex-Im Bank, and the Trade Development Agency to cease all investment support activity in Indonesia immediately. This is something the President can do without waiting for Congressional approval, and it will go a long way to focus the concentration of the Indonesian rulers," Wellstone said.
"I believe that if the Indonesian government does not immediately take steps to stop the carnage in East Timor, the United States must use any and all of its economic leverage with that government, until a safe and secure environment is restored," Wellstone said.
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