free trade, unilateral and economic trade sanctions

Differing Perspectives...

The vast majority of published opinion supports USA*ENGAGE in its effort to promote reforms to U.S. unilateral sanctions policy. However, several articles have appeared in recent months that are critical of those in the American business and agriculture communities who are speaking out against the continued use of ineffective and counterproductive unilateral sanctions. To promote a healthy debate on the issues, we have reprinted these articles in their entirety, accompanied by a response.
We invite you to be the judge.

Read the Op-Ed
September 11, 2001
A civil war has raged in Sudan since a 1989 military coup overthrew the democratically elected government, writes William Hawkins in the Washington Times. An estimated 2 million people have died in a conflict that has pitted the militant Islamic regime against Christians and other non-Muslims living in the southern parts of the country.

Remarks of The Hon. Otto J. Reich President, US-Cuba Business Council Before the American Chamber of Commerce of Cuba

November 2000
Is Cuba a commercial opportunity or a risk? The answer is yes. To both questions.

The Domestic Costs of Sanctions on Foreign Commerce
March 1999
Congressional Budget Office

USA*ENGAGE's Response to the CBO Study

April 1999

"While CBO has accepted the fact that America sacrifices $19 billion in export sales each year due to the imposition of unilateral sanctions, no attempt has been made to quantify, or even consider, either the long term opportunity costs that are incurred by U.S. business and agriculture, or the 200,000 U.S. jobs lost annually," said Kittredge. "Also, there is no recognition that the threat of unilateral sanctions hurts America's reputation as a reliable supplier, and that this has tangible, long-lasting implications. Finally, the cost of unilateral sanctions is particularly great given the fact that they are usually ineffective and often counterproductive.""
What Sanctions Epidemic?; U.S. Business' Curious Crusade
January, 1999 / February 1999
Senator Jesse Helms
Foreign Affairs

"In the past year, a handful of Washington business lobbyists have waged a blistering campaign to persuade the world that Congress has been engaged in a spasm of sanctions proliferation...This is sheer nonsense"
National Association of Manufacturers
1 February 1999

"Resorting to unilateral sanctions may be justified in some cases; it may be rationalized in many, many more. But it can rarely, if ever, be explained in terms of leadership. In fact, resort to unilateral sanctions can only be explained in terms of a failure of leadership and a subsequent decision -- in light of that failure -- that America must go it alone."

USA*ENGAGE also responds...

Regarding "An Epidemic of Sanctions? It's Pure Nonsense"
7 January 1999
Frank D. Kittredge, Vice-Chairman, USA*Engage
International Herald Tribune

Words Or War; Why Sanctions Are Necessary
27 July 1998
Elliott Abrams
The Weekly Standard

"As this burgeoning campaign to abolish them makes clear, sanctions are a great annoyance to the constituents of America's business lobbies. While foreign competitors, French or Japanese or German, merrily bid for contracts abroad, American companies find themselves tangled in a web of legislation designed to express disapproval, block trade in certain commodities, or perhaps deny resources to disfavored or hostile regimes. But the elimination of economic sanctions as a foreign-policy tool would be an extraordinarily radical action, for it would leave our government facing its adversaries with just two alternatives: words or war."

Eyes On Sanctions
14 September 1998
Frank D. Kittredge,
Vice-Chairman, USA*Engage
The Weekly Standard

"Elliott Abrams misrepresents the position of USA*Engage and the business community, when he states that "the explicit goal of the several hundred business and trade associations that make up USA*Engage is to end the use of sanctions as a tool of U.S. foreign policy," he is simply incorrect...We have gone to great lengths to point out that, yes, sometimes sanctions are necessary -- and that national security should always be the paramount concern. But we have always stressed that there are other ways to achieve our foreign-policy goals instead of relying so heavily on ineffective and counterproductive unilateral sanctions."


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