[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[December 30, 1998]
[Pages 2218-2219]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the National Emergency With 
Respect to Libya
December 30, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)
    I hereby report to the Congress on the developments since my last 
report of July 6, 1998, concerning the national emergency with respect 
to Libya that was declared in Executive Order 12543 of January 7, 1986. 
This report is submitted pursuant to section 401(c) of the National 
Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1641(c); section 204(c) of the International 
Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), 50 U.S.C. 1703(c); and section 
505(c) of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 
1985, 22 U.S.C. 2349aa-9(c).
    1. On December 30, 1998, I renewed for another year the national 
emergency with respect to Libya pursuant to IEEPA. This renewal extended 
the current comprehensive financial and trade embargo against Libya in 
effect since 1986. Under these sanctions, virtually all trade with Libya 
is prohibited, and all assets owned or controlled by the Government of 
Libya in the United States or in the possession or control of United 
States persons are blocked.
    2. There have been no amendments to the Libyan Sanctions 
Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 550 (the ``Regulations''), administered by 
the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the 
Treasury, since my last report of July 6, 1998.
    3. During the reporting period, OFAC reviewed numerous applications 
for licenses to authorize transactions under the regulations. Consistent 
with OFAC's ongoing scrutiny of banking transactions, the largest 
category of license approvals (26) involved types of financial 
transactions that are consistent with U.S. policy. Most of these 
licenses authorized personal remittances not involving Libya between 
persons who are not blocked parties to flow through Libyan banks located 
outside Libya. Seven licenses were issued to U.S. firms to allow them to 
protect their intellectual property rights in Libya. One license was 
issued in connection with law enforcement activities and one authorized 
certain travel-related transactions. A total of 35 licenses were issued 
during the reporting period.
    4. During the current 6-month period, OFAC continued to emphasize to 
the international banking community in the United States the importance 
of identifying and blocking payments made by or on behalf of Libya. The 
Office worked closely with the banks to assure the effectiveness of 
interdiction software systems used to identify such payments. During the 
reporting period, more than 87 transactions potentially involving Libya, 
totaling more than $7.9 million, were interdicted.
    5. Since my last report, OFAC has collected 4 civil monetary 
penalties totaling more than $15,000 for violations of the U.S. 
sanctions against Libya. Three of the violations involved the failure of 
U.S. banks to block payments or letters of credit transactions relating 
to Libyan-owned or Libyan-controlled financial institutions. One U.S. 
individual paid an OFAC penalty for dealing in Government of Libya 
    On October 16, 1998, two Canadian corporations entered a guilty plea 
acknowledging IEEPA violations charged in a March 8, 1995, indictment. 
Pursuant to the plea agreement, the defendants each paid $65,000 in 
criminal fines and $10,000 in OFAC civil penalties.
    Various enforcement actions carried over from previous reporting 
periods have continued to be

[[Page 2219]]

aggressively pursued. Numerous investigations are ongoing and new 
reports of violations are being scrutinized.
    6. The expenses incurred by the Federal Government in the 6-month 
period from July 7, 1998, through January 6, 1999, that are directly 
attributable to the exercise of powers and authorities conferred by the 
declaration of the Libyan national emergency are estimated at 
approximately $500,000. Personnel costs were largely centered in the 
Department of the Treasury (particularly in the Office of Foreign Assets 
Control, the Office of the General Counsel, and the U.S. Customs 
Service), the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce.
    7. The policies and actions of the Government of Libya continue to 
pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and 
foreign policy of the United States. In adopting UNSCR 883 in November 
1993, the United Nations Security Council determined that the continued 
failure of the Government of Libya to demonstrate by concrete actions 
its renunciation of terrorism, and in particular its continued failure 
to respond fully and effectively to the requests and decisions of the 
Security Council in Resolutions 731 and 748, concerning the bombing of 
the Pan Am 103 and UTA 772 flights, constituted a threat to 
international peace and security. The United States will continue to 
coordinate its comprehensive sanctions enforcement efforts with those of 
other U.N. Member States. We remain determined to ensure that the 
perpetrators of the terrorist acts against Pan Am 103 and UTA 772 are 
brought to justice. The families of the victims in the murderous 
Lockerbie bombing and other acts of Libyan terrorism deserve nothing 
less. I shall continue to exercise the powers at my disposal to apply 
economic sanctions against Libya fully and effectively, so long as those 
measures are appropriate, and will continue to report periodically to 
the Congress on significant developments as required by law.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate. This 
letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 31.