Presidential Determination for Major Drug-Transit and Major Illicit Drug-Producing Countries

Press Statement
Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 15, 2009

Under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FAA), the President is required to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries. A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts nor does it reflect its cooperation with the United States. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country despite its own best efforts.

When a country does not live up to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has “failed demonstrably.” Such a designation can lead to sanctions. However, the President may also execute a waiver should he determine that continuing U.S. assistance is in the national interest of the United States. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue.

This year the President has identified the following countries as major drug-transit or drug-producing countries for purposes of the FAA: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

Of these 20, the President has determined that three countries, Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, “failed demonstrably” during the last 12 months to adhere to international counternarcotic agreements and take counternarcotic measures set forth in U.S. law. In the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela, the President has issued a national interest waiver so that the United States may continue to support specific programs to benefit the Bolivian and Venezuelan people. In Venezuela, funds will continue to support civil society programs and small community development programs. In Bolivia, the waiver will permit continued support for agricultural development, exchange programs, small enterprise development, and police training programs among others.

PRN: 2009/924