free trade, unilateral and economic trade sanctions


For Immediate Release
September 3, 1999

Trade Sanctions: Lost Opportunity for Iowa Business/Agriculture Coalition Seeks Answers in Iowa Campaign

International exports are increasingly important to the health of Iowa's economy, with exports of goods, services and farm products from over 1,400 Iowa companies and agriculture interests now accounting for more than $8.5 billion annually. (Iowa Dept. of Economic Development) However, the widespread use of U.S. sanctions as a tool of foreign policy is endangering both future export growth and opportunities in existing international markets.

With that in mind, USA*ENGAGE is working to introduce the debate on U.S. sanctions policy to the presidential campaign and Iowa voters. Through a billboard campaign, grassroots and media outreach, USA*ENGAGE and its members will be asking the candidates where they stand on current U.S. sanctions policy.

* The USA*ENGAGE effort to reach the candidates as they campaign in Iowa will launch on Labor Day, with the unveiling of a new billboard on Fleur Drive, near the Des Moines International Airport. The billboard features Uncle Sam throwing a boomerang, with the caption "Sanctions Hurting Iowa, Sanctions Hurting U.S." (A photo of the billboard can be found below)

"History has shown that unilateral sanctions are almost never effective in achieving their foreign policy goals, yet almost always hurt American business, farmers and workers," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "Cutting off access to international markets for our products is counterproductive -- especially when many American farmers are struggling with record low commodity prices."

Kittredge pointed to last year's threatened cut-off of all U.S. exports to India and Pakistan as a prime example of U.S. unilateral sanctions as a failed policy. "American exporters were faced with the specter of another Soviet grain embargo -- where nothing was achieved, yet a huge market was lost," he said. "It is important that our future president hears from those directly affected by Washington's sanctions policies."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 670 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad.

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