Public Papers

Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report on Panamanian Government Assets Held by the United States


To the Congress of the United States:

1. I hereby report to the Congress on developments since the last Presidential report on April 23, 1991, concerning the continued blocking of Panamanian government assets. This report is submitted pursuant to section 207(d) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1706(d).

2. On April 5, 1990, I issued Executive Order No. 12710, terminating the national emergency declared on April 8, 1988, with respect to Panama. While this order terminated the sanctions imposed pursuant to that declaration, the blocking of Panamanian government assets in the United States was continued in order to permit completion of the orderly unblocking and transfer of funds that I directed on December 20, 1989, and to foster the resolution of claims of U.S. creditors involving Panama, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1706(a). The termination of the national emergency did not affect the continuation of compliance audits and enforcement actions with respect to activities taking place during the sanctions period, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1622(a).

3. The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury (``FAC'') has released to the control of the Government of Panama approximately 0,000 of the approximately 2.76 million that remained blocked at the time of my last report. The amount released represents blocked financial accounts that the Government of Panama requested be unblocked.

Of the approximately 7.3 million remaining blocked at this time (which includes approximately million in interest credited to the accounts since my last report), some 6.5 million is held in escrow by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the request of the Government of Panama to fund a portion of Panama's arrearages to international financial institutions. Additionally, approximately 0,000 is held in commercial bank accounts for which the Government of Panama has not requested unblocking. A small residual in blocked reserve accounts established under section 565.509 of the Panamanian Transactions Regulations, 35 CFR 565.509, remains on the books of U.S. firms pending the final reconciliation of accounting records involving claims and counterclaims between the firms and the Government of Panama.

4. I will continue to report periodically to the Congress on the exercise of authorities to prohibit transactions involving property in which the Government of Panama has an interest, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1706(d).

George Bush

The White House,

October 3, 1991.