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Old August 30, 2013, 08:15 PM   #51
JohnKSa
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Commonly given explanation!!!! Hardly.
Maybe not now, but that was what everyone, including Clinton was saying at the time.
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Frank Ettin covered it above.
The wiki article Frank quoted is in error. Clearly if the weapons were banned in 1993 as the wiki claims, then clearly it wouldn't make any sense to be able to find numerous articles from 1994 quoting Clinton and others saying that he was planning to ban them.

I don't know who's trying to rewrite history, but that seems to be what's going on here.

Here are some more articles from the period.

From May 27, 1994
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/199...an-china-human
"In a mild sanction, Mr. Clinton said that the United States would ban the import of munitions, mainly ammunition and cheap automatic rifles that have poured into the country and have become a mass-market assault weapon."
From May 27, 1994
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/27/news/27iht-mfn_1.html
"Clinton Bans Weapons Imports To Keep Some Pressure on Beijing"
"He ordered a ban on the importation of Chinese-made weapons and ammunition, but there was no explicit link to human rights. Cheap, Chinese infantry assault rifles are flooding the U.S. market and are increasingly being used in violent crimes. "
From May 27, 1994
http://tech.mit.edu/V114/N27/china.27w.html
"Clinton said he was banning the import of Chinese munitions and taking several other small steps to support the pro-democracy cause in China."
"He acknowledged that the one sanction he was imposing - the ban on imports of guns and ammunition from China involving about $200 million in sales - constituted little more than a "discrete" symbol of U.S. displeasure. "
From May 28, 1994
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1...-chinese-goods
"President Clinton decided the U.S. will ban the import of Chinese guns to punish Beijing for its human-rights record."
And another authoritive source explaining what happened.

From the Congressional Record V146, Page 9065, May 24, 2000
http://books.google.com/books?id=z6E...import&f=false
"The import of Chinese guns was effectively stopped in 1994 when President Clinton imposed a ban as a condition of renewing China's most favored nation status."
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EO 12938 pertains to weapons of mass destruction. Yep, those semi-auto milsurp rifles are powerful but they ain't WMD.
I told you that I've read it and that I can't decipher it. But there's clearly no question at all as to what it actually did, nor what Clinton intended it to do. And there certainly wasn't at the time. It wasn't like he made a big secret of it. Anyone in doubt can read the period articles--they make it all crystal clear.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:29 PM   #52
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As kilimanjaro noted, see post 45, not in these words, the words are mine, as are such faults as may well be a part thereof, it's not a question of a few rifles, rifles that should perhaps not be in the same room as live ammunition, it's the principle of the thing, that being Obama's ongoing abuse of authority, his ongoing double-talk.

As I asked in an earlier post or posts, at what point in time will the administrative/bureaucratic excesses of this man, Obama, be checked, and if the checking is to be done by The Congress, it is so hoped, when might The Congress (House and Senate) so act. Will they act before the enemy is inside the gates, for respecting the constitutional rights of Americans, it strikes me that the enemy is already AT the gates.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:30 PM   #53
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Guys? You know we're talking about executive actions and not executive orders, right? The distinction is being lost in much of the media, but it's important.

That said, the President doesn't need an executive order to stop importation. The ATF can simply decide not to authorize it. That was the direction given in 1989.

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Make no mistake about it. This administration knew very well these Garands and carbines would not be on the streets, but instead hang over the fireplace, a symbol of our democracy, and they took that symbol away.
I really doubt that's their motivation. They've got a barrel with a rapidly waning fish population, and they've got to shoot at something. That something has to be something that doesn't require congressional approval, so here we are.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:34 PM   #54
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Guys? You know we're talking about executive actions and not executive orders, right? The distinction is being lost in much of the media, but it's important.
Yes: Some media conveniently call nearly every decision the president makes an "executive order".
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:39 PM   #55
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To be honest, not really. I've had firsthand experience with some of the remainder of the Korean Garands, and they're not worth having. In most cases, the rifles aren't even safe to shoot.
My dad was in the 11th Airborne. Graduated high school halfway through the year and enlisted on his 18ht b'day. I have a pic of him with Rod Serling in the Philippines.

Now that I have the means I certainly do want one for my son who is his namesake and who just got his jump wings.

I think this action is utterly absurd. It is perfectly illustrative of the gun law impulse.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:40 PM   #56
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Tom:

A brief excerpt from one of your posts:

Tom Servo Guys? You know we're talking about executive actions and not executive orders, right? The distinction is being lost in much of the media, but it's important.

That said, the President doesn't need an executive order to stop importation. The ATF can simply decide not to authorize it. That was the direction given in 1989.

1. Media manages to "loose" all manner of things, some of them being important points.

2. As for the AFT, BATF I believe, as it was then named, at the orders of the then President, Bush 41, they bent over and grabbed their ankles, effectively prostituting themselves re the following, as I recall. They had previously authorized the import of certain semiautomatic rifles on the basis that they were suitable for or adaptable to "sporting purposes". On orders from the then Bush administration, they "discovered" the error of their ways, reclassifying the same semiautomatic rifles as not being suitable for or adaptable to sporting purposes. One assumes that the "sporting purposes" after orders were identical to the "sporting purposes" before orders, that is orders from The White House, but one never knows.

Speaking personally, and at the risk of perhaps doing some good people an injustice, I never thought that the agency in question, whatever it's name of the moment, was worth the matches it would take to set it on fire, but that's just my opinion.
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:09 PM   #57
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On orders from the then Bush administration, they "discovered" the error of their ways, reclassifying the same semiautomatic rifles as not being suitable for or adaptable to sporting purposes.
It's a chicken/egg question. William Bennett, who was drug czar at the time, pressured President Bush to do something about semiautomatic rifles following the Stockton shooting. Directly after, the ATF issued a report [pdf] in which they interpreted 925(d) as such:

Quote:
Moreover, there is legislative history which indicates that Congress intended the standard to allow the importation of traditional sporting rifles, while excluding military-type rifles. The Senate Report on the Gun Control Act observed that the importation standards “. . . are designed and intended to provide for the importation of quality made, sporting firearms, including . . . rifles such as those manufactured and imported by Browning and other such manufacturers and importers of firearms.”

An explanation of the effect of this section by one of the sponsors of the bill specifically stated that military firearms would not meet the “sporting purposes” test for importation. The mere fact that a military firearm may be used in a sporting event does not make it importable as a sporting firearm.
There wasn't an executive order because they didn't need one. The President simply stayed out of the way. To what extent he influenced that decision, I can't say, but there wasn't an EO.
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Old August 30, 2013, 11:03 PM   #58
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In 1984 The BATF banned a semi-auto shotgun from import citing the "sporting purposes" clause of the GCA 1968. So far as i can determine this was the first time a long gun was banned from import. In 1986 another semi-auto shotgun was banned.

Quote:
Speaking personally, and at the risk of perhaps doing some good people an injustice, I never thought that the agency in question, whatever it's name of the moment, was worth the matches it would take to set it on fire, but that's just my opinion.
Same here.

As an Army M/Sgt. in an Army EOD unit, i had my conflict with the BATF when a SAC demanded that i lie to federal judge about the disposition of hundreds of thousands of small arms rounds the judge ordered returned to their owner.
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Old August 30, 2013, 11:53 PM   #59
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Yes: Some media conveniently call nearly every decision the president makes an "executive order".
If it wasn't via an executive order, what method did he use? I'll admit that I'm not an expert on presidential powers so I don't have an answer for this and I'd like to change that.

Here are two different sources for the speech that Clinton gave at a press conference.

http://china.usc.edu/(S(5ng2xa3dwwjs...ookieSupport=1

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=50241

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Clinton
In view of the continuing human rights abuses, I am extending the sanctions imposed by the United States as a result of the events in Tiananmen Square, and I am also banning the import of munitions, principally guns and ammunition from China.
That pretty much eliminates any debate about who was responsible for the ban but still leaves some question as to how he managed it.

Clearly he did enact the import ban, and whatever method he used, it obviously worked very effectively and is still working effectively 20 years later.

I see no reason that the current president would have any difficulty doing something similar.

So, assuming that Clinton's import ban wasn't done via EO, would it still be reversible by a subsequent president as an EO would be?
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Old August 31, 2013, 07:26 AM   #60
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Clearly he did enact the import ban, and whatever method he used, it obviously worked very effectively and is still working effectively 20 years later.
The cutoff of ammo and guns from China hit us very hard.

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I see no reason that the current president would have any difficulty doing something similar.
Same here.

His decision to demagogue on the issue of the re-importation of obsolete US infantry weapons from Korea indicates his willingness to trash our Second Amendment rights. The administration previously banned those weapons from import. How many bans are enough?

Quote:
So, assuming that Clinton's import ban wasn't done via EO, would it still be reversible by a subsequent president as an EO would be?
i don't know. i'm sure the Chinese would be willing to sell guns and ammo to US buyers.
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Old August 31, 2013, 07:36 AM   #61
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So, assuming that Clinton's import ban wasn't done via EO, would it still be reversible by a subsequent president as an EO would be?
I'd imagine so. The thing is, EO's are a weird and murky construct. They aren't defined or authorized anywhere in the Constitution, though some folks think they're implied in Article II, Section 5.

The courts have ruled some EO's unconstitutional in the past, so I imagine future Chief Executives could reverse them.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:54 AM   #62
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All:

Re this "sporting purposes" business previously mentioned by several posters, myself included, the following question continues to pique my curiosity. Where in the law, if anywhere are "sporting purposes" defined. Additionally, where in the law is "sport" defined, and finally, where in the law is "readily adaptable thereto(sporting purposes)" defined.

This question is not frivolously offered, for as has been mentioned and referenced, the government agency charged with the enforcement of firearms related federal law, the BATFE, can and has either allowed or disallowed the importation of firearms based on their supposed suitability or lack thereof, for "sporting purposes", which once again, in-so-far as I know, corrections please if appropriate, remain undefined in the law.
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Old August 31, 2013, 11:29 AM   #63
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Where in the law, if anywhere are "sporting purposes" defined.
It's in 18 USC § 925(d)(3), as amended in 1968:

Quote:
The Attorney General shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition—
(...)
(3) is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, excluding surplus military firearms, except in any case where the Attorney General has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph
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Old August 31, 2013, 02:31 PM   #64
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The cutoff of ammo and guns from China hit us very hard.
Makes me wonder if the recent/current ammo shortage would have been as severe if Chinese ammo was still imported?
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Old August 31, 2013, 03:18 PM   #65
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I asked in the NFA section, but I wanted to know if a CLEO wont sign off on a transfer, would you now have grounds for a lawsuit because there is no way around it?
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Old August 31, 2013, 08:40 PM   #66
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Makes me wonder if the recent/current ammo shortage would have been as severe if Chinese ammo was still imported?
I've thought about that a lot over the last few years and I think that the answer is a definitive "No."

It might have still been bad but more supply would HAVE to help.

It is my opinion that part of the reason that the ammunition prices were so low during the early and into the mid-1990s was the huge supply of Chinese ammunition. The prices actually fell significantly between 1990 to the mid-1990s.

It will be hard to get support to eliminate that restriction because domestic gun and ammunition manufacturers will likely oppose any such measure. I doubt that any of them would see the re-introduction of Chinese ammo & guns into the U.S. market as a positive move.
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Old August 31, 2013, 09:50 PM   #67
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Tom:

Respecting the data provided in your post # 63, thank you. For reference, I have copied and pasted some of it below.

Quote:
The Attorney General shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition—
(...)
(3) is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, excluding surplus military firearms, except in any case where the Attorney General has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph

Re paragraph 3, at the risk of seeming picky, re the bit about being "generally recognized...", generally recognized by whom I'm given to wonder. Having read this passage, and the section from which it was taken, you provided a link to that, thank you, the terminology does not define either sport, sporting purposes nor does it clarify the meaning of "readily adaptable", in-so-far as I can see, though perhaps I need new glasses.

Additionally, having read through the PDF, which makes frequent reference to a "working group", who was part thereof is a question that looms large to me. Iam perhaps overly suspicious here.

Looking at various documents, and finding quite frequent references to "The Secretary" and "The Attorney General", the following question comes to my mind, again my outlook might well be jaundiced. Did The Congress, in writing these terms into the law intend to lay the law abiding gun owners of this country open to what I politely describe as "bureaucratic abuse without limit", or where they simply not paying attention to what they were doing? Were they so unaware of the nature of criminals that they wrote as they did?

In conclusion, while many years ago, I took a couple of law courses, they were quite basic, I'm not learned in the law. My career, such as it was, was in Engineering Design and Construction. I did learn, a long time ago, to read English, and at the risk of being slightly crude, I often wonder as to why politicians, legislators seem to have the significant aversion to the English language that the bastards display, looking at what passes for their "work product", otherwise known as legislation. I will also plead to being the proverbial old grouch, however I remain curious.

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Old August 31, 2013, 10:41 PM   #68
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Ok, I've been poking around trying to educate myself and I'm getting nowhere...

Can someone who understand how the presidential/executive powers work explain how the president has the authority to selectively ban imports without using executive orders?

We seem to have two examples of this happening--Clinton's 1994 ban on Chinese ammunition and small arms and Obama's 2013 ban on the reimportation of U.S. military surplus firearms--but no clear explanation of precisely how it's done.
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Old September 1, 2013, 12:48 AM   #69
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Did The Congress, in writing these terms into the law intend to lay the law abiding gun owners of this country open to what I politely describe as "bureaucratic abuse without limit", or where they simply not paying attention to what they were doing?
A little of both. Just as we saw in January, there was a rush to do something in 1968. As part of that, Congress delegated the authority of approving or denying imports of certain weapons to the DOJ. The paper I linked in post #57 of this thread is the report on the 1989 decision to ban the importation of many guns, and it gives some detail as to how they define "sporting purposes."

Quote:
Can someone who understand how the presidential/executive powers work explain how the president has the authority to selectively ban imports without using executive orders?
He doesn't have to. The ATF has that authority on their own. All the President has to do is make the suggestion.
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Old September 1, 2013, 04:27 AM   #70
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If it's all done on the basis of the "sporting purposes" clause then why wouldn't semi-auto AKs being imported from China be just as sporting as semi-auto AKs being imported from other countries and having identical specifications and in identical calibers? And how could Chinese ammunition be less sporting than otherwise identical Russian, Mexican, Serbian or Italian ammunition, regardless of the definition of "sporting purposes" that is employed?

What's stopping the BATF from taking the suggestion and running with it--saying that if any Chinese firearm or ammunition regardless of type, model or variety can be defined as not suitable for "sporting purposes" then any firearm or ammunition could also be so defined and therefore banned?

If it's just a suggestion, could the BATF ignore it if they wanted to? If so, how could Clinton confidently make a public announcement that he was "banning" Chinese arms and ammunition and be certain that the BATF would definitely carry through with his "suggestion"?

If the BATF has that much latitude (the power to ban an entire country's firearm/ammunition on the weight of a mere "suggestion") then they would have cut off all ammunition/firearm imports years ago. Either on their own or on the basis of someone's suggestion.

Why hasn't Obama simply "suggested" to the BATF behind the scenes that any "assault" weapon isn't sporting and therefore shouldn't be importable? Are we to believe that wants those imports to continue or doesn't care if they do? Why didn't Clinton?

The fact that most firearm/ammunition imports (including "assault weapons") haven't been banned forces us to the conclusion that in the years since that code went in place, we've simply never had a lame duck president who thought it would be a good idea to ban the import of all "assault weapons". Since we all know that's not true, then we've come to a contradiction that calls the initial premise into question.

Somewhere there's something (or several somethings) missing in the "suggestion" explanation...
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:13 AM   #71
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I thought the selective importation was accomplished under ITAR in conjunction with the Arms Export Control Act(1976)....by the state dept simply putting anything it deems military tech on the USML(United States munitions list).

Not so?
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Old September 1, 2013, 10:08 AM   #72
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If it's just a suggestion, could the BATF ignore it if they wanted to?
i seriously doubt that the political apointee head of the BATFE would ignore a request of the president who appointed him. If such a thing happened then he/she would be fired or ordered to resign. He/she would be replaced by another political appointee more inclined to carry out the wishes of the president.


A look at ATF Ruling 94-2 shows pretty much how the "sporting purposes" ruling is applied. Ruling 94-2 declared the Striker 12/Streetsweeper shotgun to be a destructive device. That gun had previously failed the "sporting purposes" test and was banned from import in 1984 by a letter ruling.

http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ngs/index.html

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Old September 1, 2013, 01:32 PM   #73
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Looks like no more anything US military. How often you see a gang banger with a M1 Garand/Carbine or 1903 Springfield.
Not only do I agree but even the AP reporter agrees it is silly....
Quote:
The ban will largely affect antiquated, World War II-era weapons that, while still deadly, rarely turn up at crime scenes, leaving some to question whether the new policy is much ado about nothing.
And that is coming from someone (the reporter) who appears to support new gun laws...
Quote:
But the narrow, modest scope of those steps served as pointed reminders that without congressional backing, President Barack Obama's capacity to make a difference is severely inhibited.
Calling the attempt a "modest scope" and "Narrow"

If there where not a need to make a difference ( IE change the law) in the eyes of the author there would be no reason for the presidents "capacity to make a difference" statement and the manner in which it was written.

Quote:
The Obama administration is also proposing to close a loophole that it says allows felons and other ineligible gun purchasers to skirt the law by registering certain guns to a corporation or trust. The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks before the corporation can register those guns.
Is there any chance he received that information about these loopholes through NSA wiretaps?

Quote:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., accused the president of governing only by executive action while failing to sufficiently enforce gun laws already on the books. And the National Rifle Association called on Obama to stop focusing his efforts on inhibiting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Translation: Mr. President, banning "street" tires because I won't let you have my bike is pretty childish and won't keep me from riding on the road.

Quote:
But proponents of gun control called them important steps to keep military-grade weapons out of American communities and plug a deadly hole in the background check system.
Yeah like WWII Military Grade Weapons are so different from anything we can by legally or illegally and available today. Better plug that hole.

Also the suggestion of plugging one hole in a background check system, suggests legally sold weapons to someone who go's through a background check is flawed! Really?Thought we already covered this....oh yeah we did ....it failed.

Guess accepting defeat by the legislative process and lacking enough support among the citizens of the US is no reason to just not repackage it, find a loophole of their own, or just plain circumventing the wishes of the majority of Americans and Congress.
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:00 PM   #74
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I was going to post this earlier, but decided not... Should have went with my first inclination!

In Executive Order 12938, we have a couple of real zingers. In section 5(b)(7) Sanctions Against Foreign Countries, we have the following:
(7) Import Restrictions. Restrictions shall be imposed on the importation into the United States of articles (that may include petroleum or any petroleum product) that are the growth, product, or manufacture of that country.
The duration of this order is at the discretion of the Sec. of State (sec. 6) and and full implementation is directed by the same (sec. 7).

So it doesn't matter if China is now a Favored Nation or not.
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Old September 1, 2013, 04:45 PM   #75
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Re a string of posts on this subject, those of mine included, at the risk of painting an overly dark picture, it strikes me that the law abiding citizens of the U.S., are just plain screwed.

I note, re existing law and regulations, correct me if I'm wrong, The Congress has the power to amend and or repeal either or both. While the president might veto legislation including legislation directing the repeal of existing statutes, The Congress is not without powers of it's own. The question is, in my view, does The Congress have the guts, the integrity to use the powers that it has, powers that, I believe, could bring Obama to heel. It could have done the same regarding previous presidents too, alas it seems that The Congress lacks, the integrity, the guts, the will to so do. Not a pretty picture at all, but that's what it looks like.
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