WASHINGTON, DC –Twenty-three organizations today launched a coalition to stop the Bush Administration’s proposed nuclear trade agreement with India.  The proposed agreement would exempt that nuclear-armed nation from longstanding U.S. and international restrictions on states that do not meet global standards to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The Campaign for Responsibility in Nuclear Trade believes the agreement would: dangerously weaken nonproliferation efforts and embolden countries like Iran and North Korea to pursue the development of nuclear weapons; further destabilize South Asia and Pakistan in particular; and violate or weaken international and U.S. laws, including the Hyde Act, which Congress passed in 2006 to provide a framework for the bilateral U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement.

When Congress takes a close look at the Bush Administration’s proposed agreement, it will find a dangerous, unprecedented deal,” said John Isaacs of the Council for a Livable World.  “The proposal undermines over 30 years of nonproliferation policy, will increase India’s capability to produce nuclear weapons and its stockpile of nuclear weapons-material, and sends the wrong message to Pakistan during a time of crisis in that country.  We feel confident that, under the Congressional microscope, the many flaws of this deal will be exposed, and it will ultimately be rejected for the sake of preserving national security and global stability.”

The U.S.-Indian bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement would allow the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology and material to India.  However, it fails to hold India to the same responsible nonproliferation and disarmament rules that are required of advanced nuclear states. The deal will increase India’s nuclear weapons production capability, exacerbate a nuclear arms race in the region, undermine international non-proliferation norms, and encourage the creation of large nuclear material stockpiles. Its contribution to meeting India’s growing energy needs has been greatly exaggerated and it would create economic opportunities for foreign nuclear industries without any guarantees for U.S. businesses.

The pact must win approval from the U.S. Congress, which changed U.S. law in December 2006 to allow negotiation of the agreement, under several conditions that have not been met in the final language of the agreement.  Those conditions include a new agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency for safeguarding Indian power reactors and changes to the international guidelines of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, which currently restrict trade with India.

Members of the Campaign are working to educate the U.S. Congress and public about the dangers of the deal, and are working with experts and organizations in two-dozen countries to inform deliberation over the deal within Nuclear Suppliers Group and its member state governments.

The new coalition’s partners include:  Council for a Livable World, Arms Control Association, Federation of American Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington office, United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Institute for Religion and Public Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force, British American Security Information Council, Women’s Action for New Directions, Americans for Democratic Action, Peace Action, Peace Action West, Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative, Beyond Nuclear, Bipartisan Security Group, Citizens for Global Solutions, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Nuclear Information Resource Information Service.

Advisors to the coalition include Ambassador Robert Grey (Ret.), former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament and Director of the Bipartisan Security Group; Dr. Leonard Weiss, former staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Nuclear Proliferation and the Committee on Governmental Affairs; Dr. Robert G. Gard, Jr., Lt. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.), Senior Military Fellow, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Subrata Ghoshroy, Director, Promoting Nuclear Stability in South Asia Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Dr. Christopher Paine, Nuclear Program Director, Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Campaign’s website is www.responsiblenucleartrade.com.

About the Campaign for Responsibility in Nuclear Trade

The Campaign for Responsibility in Nuclear Trade, a partnership project of 23 nuclear arms control, non-proliferation, environmental and consumer protection organizations, opposes the July 2005 proposal for civil nuclear cooperation with India and the additional U.S. concessions made to India as a result of subsequent negotiations because they pose far-reaching and adverse implications for U.S. and international security, global nuclear non-proliferation efforts, human life and health, and the environment.  More information about the campaign can be found at www.responsiblenucleartrade.com.

Arms Control Experts, Environmental Activists, Consumer Advocates, Religious Groups and Doctors Find Proposed Agreement Would Dangerously Undermine National Security, Global Stability