Message to the Congress Reporting on the Prohibition of Trade and Certain Other Transactions Involving South Africa

September 9, 1985

To the Congress of the United States:

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report to the Congress that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare that the policies and actions of the Government of South Africa constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy and economy of the United States and to declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

Pursuant to this and other legal authorities, I have prohibited certain transactions, including the following: (1) the making or approval of bank loans to the South African Government, with certain narrow exceptions; (2) the export of computers and related goods and technology to certain government agencies and any apartheid enforcing entity of the South African Government; (3) all nuclear exports to South Africa and related transactions, with certain narrow exceptions; (4) the import into the United States of arms, ammunition, or military vehicles produced in South Africa; and (5) the extension of export marketing support to U.S. firms employing at least twenty-five persons in South Africa which do not adhere to certain fair labor standards.

In addition, I have directed (6) the Secretary of State and the United States Trade Representative to consult with other parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade with a view toward adopting a prohibition on the import of Krugerrands; (7) the Secretary of the Treasury to complete a study within 60 days regarding the feasibility of minting U.S. gold coins; and (8) the Secretary of State to take the steps necessary to increase the amounts provided for scholarships in South Africa for those disadvantaged by the system of apartheid and to increase the amounts allocated for South Africa in the Human Rights Fund; and (9) the Secretary of State to establish an Advisory Committee to provide recommendations on measures to encourage peaceful change in South Africa.

Finally, this Order (10) commends the efforts of U.S. firms in South Africa that have voluntarily adhered to fair labor, nondiscrimination principles and encourages all U.S. firms to do likewise.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order that I have issued making this declaration and exercising this authority.

1. I have authorized these steps in response to the current situation in South Africa. It is the foreign policy of the United States to seek peaceful change in South Africa, and in particular an end to the repugnant practice and policy of apartheid and the establishment of a government based on the consent of the governed. Recent developments in South Africa have serious implications for the prospects for peaceful change and the stability of the region as a whole, a region of strategic importance to the United States. The recent declaration of a state of emergency in 36 magisterial districts by the Government of South Africa, the mass arrests and detentions, and the ensuing financial crisis are of direct concern to the foreign policy and economy of the United States. The pace of reform in South Africa has not fulfilled the expectations of the world community nor the people of South Africa. Recent government actions regarding negotiations on the participation of all South Africans in the government of that country have not sufficiently diffused tensions and may have indeed exacerbated the situation.

Under these circumstances, I believe that it is necessary for this Nation to recognize that our foreign policy of seeking change through peaceful means is seriously threatened. In order for this Nation successfully to influence events in that country, it is necessary for the United States to speak with one voice and to demonstrate our opposition to apartheid by taking certain actions directed specifically at key apartheid policies and agencies.

2. The above-described measures, many of which reflect congressional concerns, will immediately demonstrate to the South African Government the seriousness of our concern with the situation in that country. Furthermore, this declaration mobilizes the influence of the private sector to promote an improvement in the economic prosperity, freedom, and political influence of blacks and other nonwhites in South Africa.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

September 9, 1985.