|August 22, 2003 |
Ms. [changed from Mr.] Liat Weingart
Jewish Voice for Peace
1611 Telegraph Avenue Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Ms. [changed from Mr.] Weingart:
Thank you for your recent letter (undated), which was addressed to our Director, Peter Magowan, and sent to our corporate headquarters. On behalf of the company, this letter addresses some of your concerns.
Along with our Board of Directors, we share your concern over unrest in the Middle East and grieve the countless innocent victims on both sides of this conflict. Our greatest hope is that the road map for peace recently outlined for the region will successfully bring an end to the violence and the advent of rebuilding both relationships and cities.
A global company like Caterpillar touches nearly every country and corner of the world, including the Middle East. With more than two million machines and engines at work each day, however, we have neither the legal right nor the ability to monitor and police individual use of that equipment.
As I’m sure you understand, as a private company, we do not set foreign policy, nor are we legally allowed to create a policy of our own. Rather, we fully abide by the laws, policies and direction set forth by the United States and local governments. We take pride in our reputation for integrity and work closely with the Bureau of Export Administration and the Office of Foreign Assets Control to ensure compliance in all the work we do.
With regard to Israel, sales between Caterpillar and the U.S. government are openly conducted through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program. Created under the Camp David Accord, the Foreign Military Sales Program allocates funds to be used by foreign militaries in the purchase of American-made commercial products, of which Caterpillar products are included.
Again, we share your aspiration for a peaceful resolution and sympathize with the innocent victims on both sides affected by this strife. As we move toward (hopefully) an end to the violence, we believe any comments on foreign policy or actions needed in the region are best left to our governmental leaders who have the ability to impact action and advance the peace process.
James W. Owens