Issue Date: December 19, 2016
U.S. Commerce Department seeks input on pact
Is the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) arms control treaty having an adverse impact on U.S. industry? The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security wants to know. The department is required to certify to Congress yearly that legitimate commercial activities and interests of chemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical firms in the U.S. “are not being significantly harmed by the limitations of the convention on access to, and production of, those chemicals and toxins” listed in the pact’s Schedule 1. The Senate included the certification requirement in a resolution it passed as a condition for ratifying the treaty in 1997. Under the terms of the CWC, 192 countries have agreed to prohibit the production, storage, and use of chemical weapons made with Schedule 1 substances such as sulfur mustard and nerve agents. U.S. regulations restrict commercial production of the chemicals to research, medical, or pharmaceutical purposes.
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