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Taiwan Removed from Majors List

On November 1 President Clinton sent to Congress the 2000 List of Major Drug Producing and/or Drug Transit Countries, as required by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. This year, Taiwan and Hong Kong were removed from the list, which reduces the number on the list to 24.

Taiwan was removed from the Majors List because its role as a transit point for U.S.-bound drugs has declined markedly due to stringent law enforcement measures together with improved customs inspection and surveillance methods by Taiwanese authorities. As a result, heroin traffic through Taiwan to the United States has been significantly reduced. Seizure rates in both the United States and Taiwan suggest that trafficking organizations are no longer using Taiwan as a transit point for U.S.-bound heroin. Consequently, the President has removed Taiwan from the Majors List and downgraded it to a Countries/Entities of Concern. We look forward to continued close cooperation with the Taiwanese authorities to combat drug trafficking.

This year, the Majors List includes: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam. The Majors List does not judge the performance of major drug producing or transit countries, many of which are working hard to stop drug trafficking. The law at this stage merely requires the President to identify by November 1 of each year countries that are either major drug producers or drug-transit points. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, defines the terms major illicit drug producing country and major illicit drug-transit country and, if a country meets either definition, it is included on the list. Factors taken into consideration include estimates of crop size in individual countries and information on drug transit patterns that significantly affect the United States. A country's counter-drug performance is evaluated in the second stage of the process - certification. Those determinations are due to Congress no later than March 1, 2001.

The Internet address for the 2000 list of major drug producing and/or drug transit countries is: