IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 2, 2012
Mr. Rubio introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
March 7, 2012
Committee discharged; referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To promote United States policy objectives in Syria, including the departure from power of President Bashar Assad and his family, the effective transition to a democratic, free, and secure country, and the promotion of a prosperous future in Syria.
Short title; table of contents
This Act may be cited
Syria Democracy Transition Act
Table of contents
The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Findings.
Sec. 4. Statement of policy.
TITLE I—Accelerating the pace of regime transition
Sec. 101. Imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that conduct transactions with the Central Bank of Syria.
Sec. 102. Exportation of petroleum, oil, and natural gas produced in Syria.
Sec. 103. Prohibition on certain vessels landing in the United States; enhanced inspections.
Sec. 104. Promotion of multilateral action at the United Nations.
TITLE II—Promoting an effective transition
Sec. 201. Report on opposition groups.
Sec. 202. Identification and disposition of weapons.
Sec. 203. Transition funding and termination of sanctions.
Sec. 204. Designating an official coordinator.
TITLE III—Creating a prosperous future
Sec. 301. Syrian-American Enterprise Fund.
Sec. 302. Additional measures to stimulate economic growth in Syria.
In this Act:
Account; correspondent account; payable-through account
The terms account, correspondent account, and payable-through account have the meanings given those terms in section 5318A of title 31, United States Code.
Appropriate congressional committees
The term appropriate congressional committees means—
the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Financial Services, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
Foreign financial institution
The term foreign financial institution has the meaning of that term as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 104(i) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8513(i)).
Congress makes the following findings:
On December 12, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–175; 22 U.S.C. 2151 note) in order to hold the Government of Syria accountable for its actions.
Current law in the United States prohibits the Government of Syria from receiving assistance from the United States because it has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, as determined by the Secretary of State for purposes of section 6(j)(1) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(1)) (as in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)) and other related statutes.
In 2006, the Department of the Treasury issued a final ruling that imposes a special measure against the Commercial Bank of Syria, a quasi-government bank, as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern.
Since mass peaceful demonstrations started on March 15, 2011, the Government of Syria, led by President Bashar al-Assad, has responded by launching a violent crackdown, committing human rights abuses, and violating its international obligations, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted December 16, 1966, and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done at New York December 10, 1984.
On April 15,
2011, Christof Heyns, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,
summary, or arbitrary executions, stated that live ammunition has been used by
the Government of Syria against demonstrators
in clear violation of
On April 29,
2011, President Barack Obama issued additional sanctions with respect to Syria,
the Government of Syria's human rights abuses, including
those related to the repression of the people of Syria, manifested most
recently by the use of violence and torture against, and arbitrary arrests and
detentions of, peaceful protestors by police, security forces, and other
entities that have engaged in human rights abuses, constitute an unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of
the United States.
On May 6, 2011, envoys of the 27 countries of the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on the Government of Syria for the human rights abuses it is perpetrating, including asset freezes and visa bans on 13 members of the Government of Syria and an arms embargo on the country.
On May 18, 2011, President Obama issued an executive order sanctioning senior officials of the Syrian Arab Republic and their supporters, specifically designating seven people: President Bashar al-Assad, Vice President Farouk al-Shara, Prime Minister Adel Safar, Minister of the Interior Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, Minister of Defense Ali Habib Mahmoud, Head of Syrian Military Intelligence Abdul Fatah Qudsiya, and Director of Political Security Directorate Mohammed Dib Zaitoun.
On June 29, 2011, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned the chief and deputy chief of Iran's national police and the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence for providing support to the Government of Syria in engaging in human rights abuses.
In July 2011, supporters of President Bashar al-Assad attacked the embassies of the United States and France, following demonstrations sanctioned by the Government of Syria outside the embassy of the United States.
On August 11, 2011, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control named the Commercial Bank of Syria, a quasi-government bank, a Specially Designated National. With this designation, all property and assets of the bank in the United States or under control of United States persons, including overseas branches, were frozen.
On August 18,
2011, President Obama stated,
The future of Syria must be determined by
its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls
for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and
slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad
must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For
the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step
On November 12, 2011, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria from membership, based on continuing violence and inability to adhere to a League-brokered plan.
On November 15,
2011, King Abdullah of Jordan became the first Arab leader to openly urge Mr.
Assad to step down, saying President Assad should
step down and make
sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that
On November 28,
2011, a report from the United Nations-backed Independent International
Commission of Inquiry on Syria concluded that
the substantial body of
evidence gathered by the commission indicates that these gross violations of
human rights have been committed by Syrian military and security forces since
the beginning of the protests in March.
On January 17,
2012, President Obama made the following statement:
We will continue to
consult very closely with Jordan to create the kind of international pressure
and environment that encourage the current Syrian regime to step aside so that
a more democratic process and transition can take place inside of
On January 30,
2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that
the status quo is
unsustainable; the longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian
people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern
that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the
On January 28, 2012, the League of Arab States decided to suspend its international monitoring mission due to escalating violence within Syria.
On February 4, 2012, the Russian Federation and People's Republic of China vetoed a United Nations Security Council Resolution in support of the League of Arab States' Plan of Action.
On February 13,
2012, the United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights said,
failure of the Security Council to agree on firm collective action appears to
have emboldened the Syrian government to plan an all-out assault in an effort
to crush resistance with overwhelming force..
As of February 13, 2012, the United Nation estimates security forces of the Government of Syria have killed well above 5,400 people, with tens of thousands, including children, arrested and more than 18,000 reportedly still arbitrarily held in detention. Approximately 25,000 people have sought refuge in other countries, and more than 70,000 are estimated to have been internally displaced.
Statement of policy
It is the policy of the United States—
to strongly condemn the ongoing, widespread, and systemic violations of human rights conducted by the authorities in Syria, including the use of force against civilians, torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary executions, sexual violence, and interference with access to medical treatment;
to support the aspirations of the people of Syria for self-government based on democratic political, civil, and religious rights;
to assure the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad and his family, and facilitate a peaceful transition to a representative and inclusive government that ensures freedom, justice, and prosperity for all the people of Syria;
to promote an effective transition to democracy by identifying and supporting organizations in Syria that are representative of the Syrian people, make demonstrable commitments to protect human rights, and religious freedom, reject terrorism, cooperate with international counterterrorism and nonproliferation efforts, and abstain from destabilizing neighboring countries;
to identify weapons stockpiles and prevent the proliferation of conventional, biological, chemical, and other types of weapons in Syria; and
to mobilize international support for a post-Assad democratic and inclusive Government of Syria.
Accelerating the pace of regime transition
Imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that conduct transactions with the Central Bank of Syria
Subject to subsections (b), (c), and (d), not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall—
prohibit the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines has knowingly conducted any financial transaction with the Central Bank of Syria; and
freeze and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of each such foreign financial institution if such property and interests in property are in the United States or are in the possession or control of a United States person.
Exception for sales of food, medicine, and medical devices
The President may not impose sanctions under subsection (a) on a foreign financial institution for engaging in a transaction with the Central Bank of Syria for the sale of food, medicine, or medical devices to Syria.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), subsection (a) applies with respect to financial transactions commenced on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Subsection (a) applies with respect to financial transactions for the purchase of petroleum or petroleum products through the Central Bank of Syria commenced on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
The President may waive the application of subsection (a) with respect to a foreign financial institution for a period of not more than 60 days, and may renew that waiver for additional periods of not more than 60 days, if the President determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees every 60 days that the waiver is necessary to the national security interest of the United States.
A report submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex.
Exportation of petroleum, oil, and natural gas produced in Syria
Except as provided in subsection (c), beginning 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose the sanctions described in section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, provides any service described in subsection (b) with respect to the exportation of petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas to be refined or otherwise processed outside of Syria if—
the Government of Syria was directly and significantly involved in the development, extraction, production, transportation, or sale of such petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas in Syria; and
the fair market value of such petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas is $1,000,000 or more; or
during a 12-month period, the aggregate fair market value of such petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas is $5,000,000 or more.
The sanctions imposed on a person under paragraph (1) shall also be imposed on any person against which such sanctions may be imposed in accordance with section 5(c) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note) as a result of the person's relationship with the sanctioned person.
The services described in this subsection are—
refining or otherwise processing petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas;
the provision of ships or shipping services; or
financing, brokering, underwriting, or providing insurance or reinsurance.
Exception for underwriters and insurance providers exercising due diligence
The President may not impose sanctions under this section with respect to a person on the basis of underwriting services or insurance or reinsurance provided by the person if the President determines that the person has exercised due diligence in establishing and enforcing official policies, procedures, and controls to ensure that the person does not underwrite or enter into a contract to provide insurance or reinsurance with respect to the exportation of petroleum, oil, or liquefied natural gas in violation of subsection (a).
Prohibition on certain vessels landing in the United States; enhanced inspections
Prohibition on certain vessels landing in the United States
A vessel may not knowingly land at any port in the United States to load or unload cargo or engage in the trade of goods or services if the vessel entered a port in Syria during the 180-day period preceding arrival of the vessel at the port in the United States.
Enforcement; enhanced inspections
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, shall prescribe regulations that—
require each vessel requesting to land at a port in the United States to certify that the vessel is not prohibited from landing at that port under subsection (a);
provide for, with respect to any vessel that provides a false certification under paragraph (1)—
the prohibition, for a period of 2 years, on that vessel landing at a port in the United States; or
the prosecution of the owner of that vessel under title 18, United States Code, if the penalty provided for under such title is greater than the penalty described in subparagraph (A);
provide a mechanism for identifying foreign ports at which vessels have landed during the preceding 180-day period that have also landed at ports in Syria during that period;
require enhanced inspection of all vessels arriving at a port in the United States from a foreign port identified under paragraph (3); and
set forth procedures for inspecting each vessel described in paragraph (4) that are sufficiently rigorous to establish whether the vessel was involved, during the 180-day period preceding the arrival of the vessel at the port in the United States, in any activity that would be subject to sanctions under this Act or any other provision of law.
National security waiver
The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, may waive the application of subsections (a) and (b) with respect to a vessel not earlier than 30 days after the Secretary of Homeland Security—
determines that the waiver is in the national security interests of the United States; and
submits to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing the reasons for the determination.
For purposes of this section, the term port means a seaport.
Promotion of multilateral action at the United Nations
The President shall use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the United Nations Security Council to urge the Security Council to adopt resolutions—
freezing the assets of, and imposing a travel ban on, all officials within the regime of Bashar Assad and all family members of Mr. Assad;
implementing a ban on passenger flights to and from Syria; and
restricting the shipment of goods to or from Syria, including the insurance of such shipments.
Promoting an effective transition
Report on opposition groups
Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on opposition groups in Syria.
The report required under subsection (a) shall include—
an assessment of ties between these groups and any designated foreign terrorist organizations and individuals that pose a threat to the United States and its allies, and an assessment of the potential of these groups to serve as part of a recognized transitional government, including the Syrian National Council (SNC), the National Coordination Commission of the Forces of Democratic Change (NCC), the Free Syrian Army, and the Free Officers Movement; and
an assessment of the military capacity of opposition forces in Syria, including organization, quality and quantity of armaments, and need for and capability of utilizing assistance.
Identification and disposition of weapons
Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall provide a briefing to the appropriate congressional committees on—
all known weapons stockpiles of the Government of Syria, with particular focus on biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear weapons and missiles; and
a plan for the identification, recovery, and disposition of such weapons.
Transition funding and termination of sanctions
Termination of sanctions
The requirements under sections 101, 102, and 103 to impose sanctions shall no longer have force or effect with respect to Syria if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that—
President Bashar Assad has been removed from power in Syria;
a democratic transitional authority is in place in Syria; and
the Government of Syria has—
ended its campaign of violence against the people of Syria;
ceased support for international terrorist groups and terrorist activities in Iraq, and has been removed from the Department of State list of state sponsors of terrorism under section 6 of the Export Administration Act (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j) (as continued in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)), section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780), and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371); and
complied with Syria’s commitments under relevant multilateral proliferation control regimes.
Assistance To support democratic transition
Upon making the certification described in subsection (a), the President may establish a $50,000,000 Syrian Stabilization Fund, to be drawn from amounts made available for Economic Support Fund assistance and Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related programs assistance, to help support opposition groups and provide for the recovery, identification, and destruction of weapons in Syria.
Not later than 30 days after making the certification described in subsection (a), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report detailing the assets frozen under section 101 and describing the criteria for releasing such assets.
Designating an official coordinator
The President shall expand the role of the Department of State's Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions to include Syria for purposes of assisting in providing the certification under section 203(a) and coordinating transition efforts in Syria.
Creating a prosperous future
Syrian-American Enterprise Fund
Congress makes the following findings:
The Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5401 et seq.) created 10 Enterprise Funds with the expressed purpose of transforming the entrenched command economies of the former Soviet Union to free markets through capital injections in new businesses.
These Enterprise Funds represented a new way of delivering economic assistance, placing pools of public capital into the hands of private investment professionals to finance entrepreneurs on a traditional business-to-business basis.
The first Fund created, the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, made 50 equity investments totaling $243,000,000, over 10,000 small business loans and 125,000 micro loans, and eventually created a net asset base of $374,000,000.
Upon the closing of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, for the first time in the history of United States foreign aid, a portion of the funds, $120,000,000, or half of the initial grant, was returned to the United States taxpayer. The balance of the remaining assets, with the consent of Congress and with the approval of the Government of Poland, was transferred to the Polish-American Freedom Foundation established by the Fund to further support the system transformation in Poland.
Subsequent funds included the following:
The Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $63,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $28,000,000.
The Czech and Slovak-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $58,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $6,000,000.
The Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $54,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $404,000,000.
The Baltic-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $50,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $62,000,000.
The Romanian-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $58,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $150,000,000.
The Albanian-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $30,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $171,000,000.
The Western New Independent States Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $139,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $90,000,000.
The Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund, capitalized at $105,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $17,000,000.
The United States-Russia Investment Fund, capitalized at $307,000,000 with an eventual net asset base of $297,000,000.
Overall, the 10 funds received capital of $1,105,000,000, and created total net assets of $1,612,000,000, for a return on the initial investment of 144 percent. Six of these funds returned a portion of their public-sourced capital to the United States Treasury and established charitable legacy foundations, whose collective capital totals $652,000,000. These foundations allow for development activities to continue long after the initial funds have been closed.
The President is authorized to designate a
private, nonprofit organization (to be known as the
Enterprise Fund) to receive funds and support made available under this
section after making the certification in section 203(a) and determining that
such organization has been established for the purposes specified in subsection
(c). The President should make such designation only after consultation with
the leadership of each House of Congress.
The purposes of the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund are—
to help support sustainable, equitable, and broad-based economic growth that generates business and job creation and improves the livelihoods of the people of Syria;
to promote the private sector and entrepreneurship in Syria, while considering the development impact of investments and profitability of those investments, particularly in small- and medium-sized enterprises, and joint ventures with participants from the United States and Syria;
to promote policies and practices conducive to strengthening the private sector in Syria through measures including loans, microloans, equity investments, insurance, guarantees, grants, feasibility studies, technical assistance, training for businesses receiving investment capital, and other measures;
to promote good corporate governance and transparency in Syria, foster competition, catalyze productivity improvements in existing businesses, and strengthen local capital markets; and
to promote security through the creation of viable private business, which support job creation in the private sector in Syria, and to further the creation of a middle class in Syria.
Board of directors
The Syrian-American Enterprise Fund shall be governed by a Board of Directors, which shall be comprised of 6 private citizens of the United States and 3 private citizens of Syria, appointed by the President of the United States.
Members of the Board of Directors shall be selected from among people who have had successful business careers in private equity, banking, or finance that is similar to the experience of individuals who previously served on the Board of Directors of a successful Enterprise Fund established by the United States Government on or after January 1, 1990.
The President may use funds appropriated for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs, notwithstanding any other provision of law to carry out the purposes specified in subsection (c) through the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund.
Eligible programs and projects
Grants awarded under this section may only be used for programs and projects that support the purposes set forth in subsection (c).
Grants may not be awarded to the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund under this section unless the Fund agrees to comply with the requirements under this section.
The grant agreement between the United States Agency for International Development and the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund shall state that the Fund shall end its reinvestment cycle not later than 15 years after the Fund commences operations, unless the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and after consultation with the appropriate congressional committees, determines that the Fund should be extended.
Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
The grant agreement between the United States Agency for International Development and the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund shall state that the Fund shall comply with procedures specified by the Secretary of State to ensure that grant funds are not provided by the Fund to or through any individual, private or government entity, or educational institution that advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, money laundering or terrorist activity or, with respect to a private entity or educational institution, that has as a principal officer of the entity’s governing board or governing board of trustees any individual that has been determined to be involved in or advocating money laundering or terrorist activity or determined to be a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Disposition of assets
The assets of the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund at the time the Fund is dissolved shall be returned to the General Fund of the United States Treasury and used to reduce the debt of the United States. In the event the assets of the Fund exceed the total amount appropriated or otherwise made available to the Fund by the United States Government, any such excess funds may be contributed to a charitable foundation for activities consistent with the purposes specified in subsection (c).
Not later than 15 days before designating an organization to operate as the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund pursuant to subsection (a), the President shall provide the information described in paragraph (2) to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the appropriate congressional committees.
The information described in this paragraph is—
the identity of the organization to be designated to operate as the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund pursuant to subsection (b);
the names and qualifications of the individuals who will comprise the initial Board of Directors; and
the procedures referred to in subsection (e)(3)(C) that will apply to the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund for purposes of curtailing money-laundering and terrorist financing activities.
Not later than 1 year after the Fund commences operations, and annually thereafter until the Fund is dissolved, the Fund shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make publicly available a report detailing the administrative expenses of the Fund.
Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 3 years thereafter until the Fund is dissolved, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing the activities of the Fund in—
achieving the stated goals of promoting private sector investment and employment in Syria; and
identifying those institutional or regulatory constraints that inhibit a more effective application of Fund resources.
Subsections (d)(5), (g), (h), (i), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), and (p) of section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421) shall apply with respect to the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund in the same manner as such provisions apply to Enterprise Funds designated pursuant to subsection (d) of such section.
Returns on investments of the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund and other payments to the Fund may be reinvested in projects carried out by the Fund without further appropriation by Congress.
Best practices and procedures
To the maximum extent practicable, the Board of Directors of the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund should adopt the best practices and procedures used by Enterprise Funds, including those for which funding has been made available pursuant to section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421).
Experience of other enterprise funds
In implementing this section, the President shall ensure that the Articles of Incorporation of the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund (including provisions specifying the responsibilities of the Board of Directors of the Fund), the terms of United States Government grant agreements with the Fund, and United States Government oversight of the Fund are, to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the Articles of Incorporation of, the terms of grant agreements with, and the oversight of the Enterprise Funds established pursuant to section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421) and comparable provisions of law.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the President $100,000,000, to be drawn from amounts made available for Economic Support Fund assistance, to provide funding for grants to the Syrian-American Enterprise Fund, which shall be used for the purposes specified in subsection (b).
Availability of funds
Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.
Additional measures to stimulate economic growth in Syria
Review of eligibility of Syria for the Generalized System of Preferences
Not later than 90 days after the President makes the certification under section 203(a), the United States Trade Representative shall conduct a review of the eligibility of Syria to be designated as a beneficiary developing country under section 502 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462).
Sense of Congress on trade and investment agreement with Syria
It is the sense of Congress that the United States Trade Representative should, after the date the President makes the certification under section 203(a), initiate negotiations with the Government of Syria with respect to a trade and investment agreement between Syria and the United States.