Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Transfer of United States Funds to Panama
March 31, 1988
commend those persons who are resisting General Noriega's
threats and intimidations to provide him with financial resources. We urge all U.S. companies and persons
to comply with the lawful requests of President Delvalle
concerning payment of financial obligations to the Government of Panama.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Government is taking the following steps in support of the
legitimate Government of Panama:
United States Government payments due the Government of Panama are to be
deposited in an account of the Government of Panama at the Federal Reserve Bank
York. This account will be set up at President Delvalle's request.
The Department of Justice will participate in actions by private parties who
have debts to the Government of Panama to declare that President Delvalle is the leader of the recognized Government of Panama.
Pursuant to court orders, the Secretary of the Treasury will assist in the
establishment of an account to be available for the deposit of funds.
The Internal Revenue Service will issue guidance to U.S. taxpayers explaining
how tax credit may be claimed for Panamanian income taxes paid into an account
to be specified at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
these measures, we are giving U.S. companies and persons
an incentive and opportunity not to provide financial support to the Noriega
regime. Should these measures prove insufficient, we will review additional
legal steps that may be necessary to deny transfer of funds to the Noriega
regime from U.S. companies and persons.
measures are in addition to the following actions that were announced on March
Withdrawal of trade preferences available to Panama under the Generalized
System of Preferences and the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
Increased scrutiny of Panama by the Immigration and
Customs Services in order to apprehend drug traffickers and money launderers.
Placing in escrow certain payments by the Panama Canal Commission to the
Government of Panama.
United States remains committed to
the goal of restoring democratic government and constitutional order in Panama. When that goal is
achieved, the United States is fully prepared to
work with the Government of Panama to help restore quickly Panama's economic health. In
addition, the U.S. Government is providing one-quarter million dollars to
support the Caritas emergency feeding program in Panama. We will continue to
examine the food needs of the poor in Panama.