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United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



* Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill which will do unacceptable damage to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.

* I have worked for over three years in opposition to the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement because of its disastrous implications for nonproliferation. I've been called the ``Arch-Critic'' of the deal; but really I see myself as the ``Arch-Defender'' of nuclear nonproliferation. Halting the spread of nuclear weapons is not something over which the United States can afford to compromise; this issue is central to both international stability and our own security here at home. I'm not ``attacking'' India, I am defending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

* My goal has been to get meaningful nonproliferation conditions included in the agreement at all levels, including at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG). But the Bush administration fought this at every turn.

* The legislation I introduced in 2005, H. Con. Res. 318 outlined the serious nonproliferation problems of the proposed India nuclear cooperation agreement.

* I testified before the House International Relations Committee on May 11, 2006 and explained the incredible dangers of the President's proposal. I told them that the deal was ``ill-conceived, that it undermines U.S. national security interests, and that it sets a dangerous precedent that will be exploited by our adversaries and rivals.'' I continue to believe that this is the case.

* In response to the issues I and others raised regarding the threat to Congressional prerogatives from the administration's draft bill, the bill that was actually introduced removed many of the worst ``blank check'' provisions of the Administration bill. For instance, the administration bill would not have allowed the Congress to even see India's IAEA Safeguards Agreement or the Nuclear Suppliers' Group rule change before we voted on whether or not to give final approval.

* The Motion to Recommit which I offered during floor debate on July 26, 2006 focused on India's dangerous relationship with Iran. My motion would have required India to help us halt Iran's nuclear program. It received 192 votes--the strongest vote that opponents of the deal were able to muster. Sadly, however, it was not included in the final bill.

* But after the Congress passed the Henry J. Hyde Act of 2006, to allow in principle nuclear trade with India, the Bush Administration ignored many of the most important nonproliferation-related conditions and requirements which were contained in that legislation. President Bush has negotiated a deal with India which is universally recognized by nonproliferation experts as ripping an enormous hole in the nonproliferation regime by granting unprecedented concessions to India, a country that has never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

* I would like to take this opportunity to explain for the Record, the problems inherent with this bill, and more generally with President Bush's now three-year campaign to carve out a massive loophole to the nonproliferation rules on behalf of India.Administration Arguments Fail the Reality Test

* In selling its proposal for the nuclear cooperation agreement with India, the Bush Administration relied on arguments which simply fail the realty test. Among the most glaringly false arguments on which the administration continues to rely to this day are that the nuclear deal will unlock India for American commerce, and that India will be a natural strategic partner with the United States,

* The Bush Administration has argued that the nuclear cooperation agreement will exponentially boost commerce with India. They also argued repeatedly that if the nuclear deal were not immediately approved by the Congress, the U.S. would lose the benefit of this trade.

* But in reality, we already have strong and growing trade ties with India, and there is no reason to believe that this will be substantially altered by the nuclear cooperation agreement. Furthermore, I believe that the Bush Administration has sought to use this false economic argument to rush Congressional approval.

* The truth is that since 2000, Indian exports to the United States have doubled, and U.S. exports to India have almost tripled. In the last 30 years, total bilateral trade has grown almost 8-fold, an enormous increase. In 2006, our total bilateral trade topped $31.9 billion, growing at a whopping 18.9% over the previous year. Even during the worst moments of the U.S.-India relationship, for instance after the 1974 and 1998 Indian nuclear tests, trade continued to grow at rapid rates.

* The bottom line is that trade between the United States and India will continue to grow, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the nuclear cooperation agreement.

* The Bush administration has repeatedly called the U.S.-Indian relationship a ``Strategic Partnership.'' I am a strong supporter of India, and I believe that the United States and India must, and will, continue to have a relationship marked by mutual cooperation and shared values. But I do not believe, as the Bush Administration has essentially argued, that India will become a subservient partner to the United States.

* The reality is that India has always followed a fiercely independent foreign policy, and will certainly continue to do so. In fact, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told his Parliament in August of 2006 that, ``Our sole guiding principle in regard to our foreign policy, whether it is on Iran or any other country, will be dictated entirely by our national interest.''

* The first major test of the U.S.-India strategic partnership is the question of how to deal with Iran's nuclear program. If lndia really were a steady strategic partner to the United States, New Delhi would be actively supporting the U.S. in halting the Iranian nuclear program. But instead of assisting the U.S. with Iran, India's longstanding strategic relationship with Iran has only grown stronger.

* Let me list some of India's actions vis-a 2-vis Iran which have led me to conclude that India is not fully and actively supporting United States' efforts to sanction and isolate Iran for its ongoing nuclear program: India has repeatedly defended Iran's nuclear program; India has developed intelligence outposts in Iran near the Pakistani border; India and Iran have held two joint naval exercises, in March 2003 and March 2006; The 2003 Iranian-Indian New Delhi Declaration explicitly raised concerns about U.S. unilateralism in Iraq; Indian scientists have been sanctioned by the U.S. for WMD-related transfers to Iran, most recently in July 2006; India is pursuing an $8 billion gas pipeline from Iran. India has committed to help Iran build a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal; the two countries established the Indian-Iranian Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism in 2003; and India is developing a port in south-east Iran which analysts believe will be a naval base.

* The other major test of the U.S.-India strategic partnership is how to address the rise of China. Some supporters of the nuclear deal will admit, in their more candid moments, that the real driver behind this enormous change is a desire on the part of the Bush Administration that India become the U.S. ``hedge'' to contain China's rise in Asia.

* But India has no desire for conflict of any kind with China, and India will not act as an American proxy. To put it simply, it is not in India's interest to risk poor relations with China. China is India's second largest trading partner. India and China signed an energy agreement to prevent them from bidding for the same resources and driving up prices, in January 2006. Total bilateral India-China trade has grown at over 30% every year since 1999, even faster than India-U.S. trade has grown.

* China is simply too valuable as a partner, and too potentially threatening as an enemy, for India to seek anything but positive relations. And all the armchair strategists who have been trying to sell the idea of India as an American proxy against China are absolutely foolish. It's not going to happen.

* I am not arguing that India cannot or should not have an independent foreign policy. I'm arguing it inevitably will chart its own course, as any powerful nation would be expected to do. My colleagues should be realistic about what we can expect from India in terms of support for U.S. foreign policy priorities. The Bush Administration seems to think that by granting India international nuclear trade we are locking them into a permanent foreign policy alliance with the U.S. That is absolutely naive, and I believe that the Bush Administration's strategic calculation that they are getting a permanent ally in exchange for a wholesale change of international nonproliferation rules is simply wrong. U.S. Violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

* Article I of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which the United States is a signatory, states that, ``Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.'' However, the U.S.-India nuclear agreement could put the United States in violation of this central obligation, since India's nuclear weapons program is likely to both indirectly and directly benefit from the terms of civilian nuclear trade, and since the United States could therefore be said to be ``encouraging'' India's manufacture of nuclear weapons.

* The non-partisan Congressional Research Service analyzed at my request the question of whether the U.S.-India nuclear agreement could violate the United States' obligations under the NPT, and identified three ways in which this could occur. First, it analyzed the ``separation plan'' under which India's civilian and military nuclear facilities will be disentangled. Second, it investigated whether U.S. de-facto recognition of lndia as a nuclear power could encourage India to continue its production of weapons. And third, it examines the most significant issue of U.S. assistance to India's weapons program: how imported nuclear fuel would free up India's domestic uranium for use in its weapons program.

* Without a credible separation plan, the United States could wind up transferring technology directly into India's weapons program. The CRS analysis states:

It should be noted that while IAEA safeguards ensure that nuclear material is not diverted, there are no procedures or measures in place to ensure that information, technology and know-how are not transferred from the civil sector to the military sector. This could become a key loophole, particularly because the separation plan places 8 indigenous power reactors under safeguards, while leaving at least 8 indigenous power reactors outside of safeguards. Without additional measures to prevent the transfer of personnel or knowledge from the safeguarded program to the unsafeguarded program, there would be little assurallce that assistance to the safeguarded program could not migrate to the military program.

* By changing U.S. law to allow for nuclear trade with India, the United States will grant international legitimacy to India's nuclear arsenal. The CRS analysis states:

The United States is not granting de jure recognition to India as a nuclear weapon state, because doing so would require amendment of the NPT, a prospect that is unattainable, according to most experts. Nonetheless, a successful U.S. effort to gain an exemption in U.S. nuclear cooperation law would place India in the company of only four other nations--the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia--all de jure nuclear weapon states. While this may not constitute formal recognition of India as a nuclear weapon state, many observers believe that it legitimizes India's nuclear weapons program, thus providing de facto recognition.

Secretary Rice seemed to be suggesting that having more uranium would not encourage or assist India's nuclear weapons program because it already had the fissile material it needed. If, as Secretary Rice suggests, the military requirements are dwarfed by civilian requirements, then finding international sources for civilian requirements could result in a windfall for the weapons program.


Nuclear Testing and the Termination of U.S. Nuclear Supply
Assurances of Nuclear Supply to India in the Case of Supply ``Disruption''

* This renders toothless the requirement in the Atomic Energy Act to stop nuclear exports to a country that tests a nuclear weapon. Will India care that U.S. cooperation is cut off if the U.S. itself is turning around and asking other countries to step in and provide the nuclear fuel to India? Would you think twice about illegally parking if you know your ticket will be paid for?

* The Hyde Act specifically states that the United States is to seek to prevent other countries from providing India with nuclear material or technology if our own cooperation is cut off. The 123 Agreement should say the same thing, but it doesn't.

* As a matter of policy, the United States doesn't transfer enrichment, reprocessing, or heavy water production equipment to any state because of the dangerous utility of those technologies for nuclear weapons programs. In fact, in February 2004, President Bush said that ``enrichment and reprocessing are not necessary for nations seeking to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.'' And he had it right!

* And reinforcing the point, the Hyde Act states that, ``Given the special sensitivity of equipment and technologies related to the enrichment of uranium, the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, and the production of heavy water,'' the United States will work to further restrict the transfers of such technologies to India.

* Yet, the U.S. has given India the right to reprocess our nuclear material, and promised cooperation in reprocessing technologies! How will the U.S. be able to stop other countries from transferring reprocessing technologies and other sensitive technologies if we are making such transfers ourselves?

* The fact of the matter is that President Bush negotiated an agreement with India that does not meet the requirements of U.S. law, on testing, on assurances of supply, and on reprocessing.Problems relating to International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards

* The Hyde Act of 2006 set numerous requirements relating to India's negotiations and declarations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). While a number of these key requirements have not met, President Bush made a formal declaration that all of the Hyde Act requirements were fulfilled.

* Section 104(b)(1) of the Hyde Act requires the President to determine that India must provide to the United States and the IAEA ``a credible plan to separate civil and military nuclear facilities, materials, and programs.'' However, the separation plan that India has provided is not credible from a nonproliferation perspective, since it will not prevent all materials from moving between the civilian and military spheres.

* Under the separation plan, India will be allowed to use domestically produced heavy water to moderate its safeguarded civilian reactors. However, the domestically produced heavy water itself will not be safeguarded, and safeguards will be removed from old heavy water as it is removed from the reactor in exchange for new heavy water. This creates a serious problem within the separation plan, as the old heavy water will contain tritium, a nuclear byproduct material which is used to boost the yield of nuclear weapons.

* India will be able to use tritium generated in its ``safeguarded'' reactors to boost the yield of its nuclear weapons, making the civilian-military separation plan utterly meaningless from a nonproliferation perspective. Yet, on September 10, 2008, President Bush made a formal declaration that ``India has provided the United States and the IAEA with a credible plan to separate civil and military nuclear facilities, materials, and programs.''

* Section 104(b)(1) of the Hyde Act requires the President to determine that:

* India has ``filed a declaration regarding its civil facilities and materials with the IAEA.''

* However, India has not filed such a declaration with the lAEA, and has stated that it will not do so until after the 123 Agreement has been approved.

* Yet, on September 10, 2008, President Bush made a formal declaration that, India ..... has ``filed a declaration regarding its civil facilities and materials with the IAEA.''

* Section 104(b)(3) of the Hyde Act requires the President to determine that:

India and the IAEA are making substantial progress toward concluding an Additional Protocol consistent with IAEA principles, practices, and policies that would apply to India's civil nuclear program.

Problems relating to the Nuclear Suppliers' Group Waiver

* The Hyde Act of 2006 set numerous statements of United States policy relating to the negotiation of a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) guidelines for international nuclear trade with India. However, the Bush Administration ignored many of these statements of policy, and in at least one instance aggressively pursued a policy which was directly contradicted by the Hyde Act.

* Section 103(a)(4) of the Hyde Act states that it is the policy of the United States to:

Strengthen the NSG guidelines and decisions concerning consultation by members regarding violations of supplier and recipient understandings by instituting the practice of a timely and coordinated response by NSG members to all such violations, including termination of nuclear transfers to an involved recipient, that discourages individual NSG members from continuing cooperation with such recipient until such time as a consensus regarding a coordinated response has been achieved.

Enrichment and reprocessing restriction

Given the special sensitivity of equipment and technologies related to the enrichment of uranium, the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, and the production of heavy water, work with members of the NSG, individually and collectively, to further restrict the transfers of such equipment and technologies, including to India.

Universalizing U.S. termination triggers

Seek to prevent the transfer to a country of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the NSG or from any other source if nuclear transfers to that country are suspended or terminated pursuant to this title, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), or any other United States law.

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