LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                          January 8,


     With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to
ratification, I transmit herewith the Protocol to Amend the 1949 Convention
on the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, done at
Guayaquil, June 11, 1999, and signed by the United States, subject to
ratification, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the same date.  In addition, I
transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department
of State with respect to the Protocol.  The Protocol will not require
implementing legislation.

     The Protocol amends the Convention for the Establishment of an
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, done at Washington May 31, 1949,
and entered into force March 3, 1950 (the "Convention"), to allow the
European Union to become a member of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna
Commission (IATTC) created under the Convention.  Presently, the Convention
is only open to governments of states.  The Protocol will, upon entry into
force, allow regional economic integration organizations like the European
Union to become a party to the Convention and a full member of the IATTC
provided all parties to the Convention give their consent to such
adherence.  The Protocol also provides that the Member States of any
regional economic integration organization that is allowed to adhere to the
Protocol are barred from joining or continuing as a party to the Convention
except with respect to the Member States' territories that are outside the
territorial scope of the treaty establishing the regional economic
integration organization.

     Allowing the European Union to accede to the Convention is important
to the United States because it would mean that the vessels operating under
the jurisdiction of the European Union and its Member States would be bound
by the conservation and management measures adopted by the IATTC for the
fishery resources of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

     I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to
the Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    January 8, 2001.

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