Messages, April 11, 1986

Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on International Activities in Science and Technology

April 11, 1986

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Title V of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1979 (Public Law 95 - 426), I am transmitting the Administration's Annual Report on the international activities of U.S. government agencies in the fields of science and technology for Fiscal Year 1985. The report was prepared by the Department of State in cooperation with other relevant agencies, consistent with the intent of the legislation.

During 1985, science and technology played a prominent role in our diplomacy. The United States is increasingly seen as the world leader in this field. National leaders and the general public see science and technology as a key to the solution of a wide variety of national and international problems. Such views are neither narrowly partisan nor without foundation. Indeed, it is significant to note that regardless of political ideologies or stage of development, many countries are not only anxious to engage in government-to-government cooperation with us, but also genuinely appreciative of cooperative scientific programs.

International science and technology cooperation, for the United States, takes place primarily in the private sector and outside the purview of government-to-government agreements. This cooperation can take the form of scholarly exchanges or research funded by private business and corporations. The Executive branch funds research where long lead time, large amounts of resources, and difficulty of capturing results make such efforts appropriate for government activities. It also funds research in essential areas not covered by the private sector, such as national defense and major parts of the space program. The international components of federally funded programs in the domestic agencies provide opportunities for unique collaboration or cost-sharing to extend the limited resources available. All are supportive of our domestic programs and priorities.

The international science and technology activities of agencies should demonstrate comparable technical merit, and return for the resources expended, to activities that take place within the United States. In this way, the United States is assured that the resources committed provide solid, technical returns. It is also the best way of ensuring that international cooperation is positive and more likely to produce foreign policy benefits. Experience has shown that international science and technology cooperation, where it is proposed primarily for foreign policy reasons, and with little inherent scientific or technical benefit, is not productive and does not sustain support in the agencies and the Congress. Foreign policy benefits are best assured if international activities are soundly grounded in technical benefits for the missions and programs of the agencies that fund them.

Programs in science and technology have become an increasingly valuable tool in the conduct of our relations with both developed and developing nations and, during 1985, they continued to play a meaningful role in the diplomacy of the United States. Through our cooperation with developed nations, we benefit from intellectual collaboration with other highly trained scientists and technical experts, and cost-sharing of expensive experimental facilities in advanced scientific areas. Our partners also gain from the collaboration and access to new technologies that have the potential to fuel economic growth. In 1985, our cooperation with developing nations also emphasized the contributions of science and technology to economic growth; however, the technologies emphasized were those appropriate to solving the problems of developing societies. We believe that bilateral arrangements with developing countries are one of the most effective ways of obtaining foreign policy benefit for the United States.

Major focuses for our cooperative programs in 1985, particularly with developed countries, were in areas of high mutual scientific interest. The space program is one such example. In addition to international participation in the space shuttle programs, 1985 also saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Space Station Project with Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency, establishing a basis for cooperation over the next two years. As we enter the twenty-first century, we should note that U.S. leadership in space is fostered by international cooperation which has enhanced the standing of the United States in the world community.

Among the developing nations, our major, high visibility programs continue to be in the People's Republic of China and India. Our maturing science and technology cooperation with China, a cornerstone in our expanding relationship, is now in its eighth year and is our largest government-to-government program. Not a part of our foreign assistance program, science and technology cooperation is based upon mutual benefit as are our other international exchanges. The Chinese have also added additional activities more attuned to their own interests on a reimbursable basis. We credit the doors opened by our successful science and technology program with contributing positively to the recent reforms made by the Chinese.

Our science and technology program with India functions on two levels -- one is the continuation of our long-term cooperation in many fields, the other is the more focused Presidential Initiative, which because of its success was extended for an additional 3 years in 1985.

Our bilateral science and technology relationship with the Soviet Union saw some positive movement during 1985. At the Geneva Summit Meeting, we and the Soviets issued a joint statement encouraging further U.S.-Soviet collaboration in science and technology. In addition, we began a careful evaluation of how science and technology can and should be used to improve bilateral relations with the Soviets.

Our international science and technology activities continued as an integral and important part of our foreign policy during 1985 in many forms and on many levels as described in detail in the report I am transmitting. We have looked for ways to pool resources for high-cost projects. We have emphasized collaboration as the means for finding solutions to problems that are international in scope. Our efforts sought to assist the developing countries in their quest for a better life and to strengthen our alliances. Finally, our international science efforts underscored our commitment to maintaining the United States as a world leader in scientific and technological excellence for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of mankind.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

April 11, 1986.

Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Radiation Control for Safety and Health

April 11, 1986

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Section 360D of the Public Health Service Act, I am submitting the report of the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the administration of the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act during calendar year 1985.

The report recommends that Section 360D of the Public Health Service Act that requires the completion of this annual report be repealed. The Senate, in passing S. 992, the ``Congressional Reports Elimination Act of 1985,'' included a provision repealing this requirement. All of the information found in this report is available to Congress on a more immediate basis through Congressional committee oversight and budget hearings and the FDA Annual Report. This annual report serves little useful purpose and diverts Agency resources from more productive activities.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

April 11, 1986.