319. 1/17/1990

“…the U.S. Congress had imposed U.S. Export-Import Bank financing restrictions on Iraq because of the Halabja massacre [in which chemical weapons were used on Kurds in March 1988]. On January 17, 1990, [President George H.W.] Bush voided the prohibition with a stroke of the pen, stating that it was ‘not in the national interest of the U.S.’ [Secretary of State James] Baker then described trade as the ‘central factor in the U.S.-Iraq relationship.’ During the Bush-Baker tenure, the United States became Iraq’s largest supplier of nonmilitary goods, and Iraq became the United States[‘] second biggest trading partner in the Middle East.”

 – Antonia Juhasz, The Bush Agenda, Page 171

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