From: Marc Sklar/CNN White House Producer
Subject: Clinton lobbying for chemical weapons treaty
President Bill Clinton is making a personal pitch for passage of a global chemical weapons treaty.
White House Spokesman Mike McCurry said that the president will call about 10 senators Wednesday afternoon to lobby for ratification of the pact.
McCurry said that passage is "still an uphill" battle, so the president is "personally making the case." McCurry says the treaty debate is at a "critical" point.
The treaty must be passed by next week in order for the State Department to process an "instrument of ratification" in time to meet the April 29 deadline, when the treaty goes into effect. State Department officials say it would take three to four days to complete the paperwork and get it to the United Nations.
If the deadline is met, then the U.S. will have a greater say in enforcement of the treaty. McCurry says if the deadline is missed, additional restrictions on U.S. chemical companies could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.
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