January 22,2003

Grassley on Reining in the Conflict Diamonds Trade


To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber, 202/224-6522
Re: Conflict diamonds trade
Da: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following
statement on the need for legislation that will help eliminate conflict diamonds from the legitimate diamond trade.

“Trade in conflict diamonds is a serious problem, not just because of the civil conflicts over diamond mines in some African countries, but also because trade in illegitimate diamonds can be used to  fund terrorist activities.

“Over the past several months, the Bush administration has made great strides in curbing trade in conflict diamonds through multilateral negotiations under the Kimberley process. The United States has been a participant in the negotiations, along with 49 other countries. As one of the lead  participants, the United States should implement the agreement.

“The administration has been working with the United Nations to pass a Security Council resolution in support of the process, and working with the World Trade Organization to obtain a waiver to make sure that this important effort is immune from challenge. I support the administration in these actions and believe these steps are important and necessary toward effectively implementing the Kimberley process. I’m committed to assisting the administration in these efforts and in passing legislation to implement the Kimberley process early this year.”