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Public Statements

House Commitee on International Relations - Weapons of Mass Destruction, Terrorism, Human Rights and the Future of US-Libyan Relations

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Federal News Service March 10, 2004 Wednesday

HEADLINE: HEARING OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SUBJECT: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, TERRORISM, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE FUTURE OF U.S.-LIBYAN RELATIONS

CHAIRED BY: REPRESENTATIVE HENRY HYDE (R-IL)

LOCATION: 2172 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.

WITNESSES: WILLIAM BURNS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS; PAULA DESUTTER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR VERIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE; PATRICK CLAWSON, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY; RAY TAKEYH, NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY; KRISTA RIDDLEY, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

REP. HYDE: Mr. Ron Paul.

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX): Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to express my support for the direction in which we're going with a more open-door policy with Libya. However, there is a great deal of reservations that should be expressed as well.

I believe at times that we have two foreign policies that we can follow: one where we literally bomb and kill our enemies, and put on sanctions, and we're in conditions of war; or the other is a more open-door policy, where we literally subsidize our so-called allies.

And yet there is a third option, and that is the encouragement of free and open trade that's not subsidized. And already we hear that there's going to be promise of aid, so in a way we bribed these people to do our bidding. And possibly Libya may get rewarded for divesting themselves of something that they don't even have or haven't had for years. But if subsidies are not given, there's more pressure put on these countries to develop political and economic systems that are conducive for the businessman to invest money. But when we have to guarantee through OPEC insurance as well as Export-Import Bank money as well as literally subsidizing them with aid, this distorts the whole notion.

So if you want to improve the internal conditions of Iraq (sic), you remove all these subsidies. But opening up the doors and trading I think is good because it is a truism that the more we trade with countries, the less likely we are to fight with them.

So I would say that we are going in the right direction, but we also must be cautious that in the past we have been allies with individuals like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, Noriega and others that, you know, literally became our enemies, and whether they turned on us or we turned on them is up for debate.

But I'd like to just put in a pitch for real free trade and not subsidized free trade and not political trade. But where we put pressure on them to make the conditions right for capitalism to work and for the businessman to send money there because it's a good investment and not because of the political insiders who get to make the profits because of the political grants and loans.

And I yield back the balance of my time.

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