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May 1998

The United States and Europe have reached an agreement on US sanctions on Libya, Iran, and Cuba.  The European countries had been threatening to protest to the World Trade Organization.

The deal made between the two sides will cause changes in the Helms-Burton Act.  That was the primary concern of the European nations, which consider the law to be extraterritorial and affect them unfairly.

US President Bill Clinton was very happy with the results of the meeting.  The United States offered to ask Congress to change the Helms-Burton Act, and the European nations agreed.

However, Senator Jesse Helms was not pleased with the deal, remarking, "It will be a cold day in you-know-where before the EU convinces me to trade the binding restrictions in the Helms-Burton law for an agreement that legitimizes their theft of American property in Cuba."

The European countries dislike the law because it allows US companies to sue foreign companies that trade with Cuba, on the grounds that they are utilizing nationalized American property.

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