Washington (June 4, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after reviewing the seven “part 810” authorizations the Trump administration has granted to U.S. companies, which allow them to share nuclear technology and explore nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia. Senator Markey has warned against the dangers of engaging in nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia and began requesting information on any 810 authorizations in a February 26, 2018 letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“It is outrageous to learn that at the time I first requested information on any part 810 authorizations with regard to Saudi Arabia, the Trump administration had already approved one and was considering three others,” said Senator Markey. “It is clear that the only reason the Trump administration withheld this information for so long was to hide what it was doing and escape Congressional oversight.
“The United States should not be sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia. That country’s leaders have openly declared their willingness to pursue nuclear weapons, refused to sign up to the highest U.S. and multilateral nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards standards, and demonstrated behavior highlighting a disturbing turn toward overt and belligerent authoritarianism. Yet, the Trump administration appears determined to befriend the Saudi regime and ignite a potentially disastrous Middle East nuclear arms race.
“Congress must not let dangerous, short-sighted mercantilism further undermine the stability of an already volatile Middle East. Congress should pass legislation that I introduced with Senators Rubio, Kaine, and Young to mandate disclosures of all 810 authorizations, and I reiterate my call for the Trump administration to suspend all civil nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia indefinitely.”