USA*ENGAGE Promotes Benefits of American Foreign Policy Engagement

Wednesday, 16 April 1997

"The United States Government increasingly relies on unilateral sanctions as a method for achieving its foreign policy objectives. While we do not disagree with U.S. goals, unilateral sanctions are almost always ineffective -- and always end up hurting American business and American workers," said James E. Perrella, Chairman, President and CEO, Ingersoll-Rand Co., and Chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council. "U.S. engagement abroad is the best tool we have to promote values, democracy, and prosperity."

USA*ENGAGE calls for enhanced opportunities for U.S. engagement at the political, economic, charitable, religious and cultural levels. The coalition, which represents 440 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations announced its intentions to encourage more active U.S. engagement abroad, and to establish a standard of accountability for any future U.S. unilateral sanctions.

"Unilateral sanctions undermine American competitiveness and cut off the benefits of engagement," said Donald V. Fites, Chairman, CEO, Caterpillar Inc.; Chairman, The Business Roundtable; and Chairman, USA*ENGAGE. We are calling on the Administration and Congress to require a standard of accountability. Any future unilateral sanctions should be judged by whether they can achieve their intended results, and whether the potential sacrifice of other national interests and the costs imposed on the American people are justifiable."

Economic Sanctions Have Negative Effects on Trade, Jobs and Wages

As evidence of the negative impact unilateral sanctions are having on the U.S. economy, the Institute for International Economics (IIE) released its new study: U.S. Economic Sanctions: Their Impact on Trade, Jobs, and Wages at today's USA*ENGAGE press conference.

The new study found that in 1995, U.S. sanctions may have reduced U.S. exports to 26 target countries by as much as $15 billion to $20 billion. In addition, previous IIE research concludes that in recent years, U.S. sanctions have been effective in achieving their goals less than 20 percent of the time.

"When economic sanctions force such a significant reduction in U.S. exports, if they are not offset by creation of new export markets, the loss of export jobs is inevitable," said IIE Director, Dr. C. Fred Bergsten. "We estimate that between 200,000 and 250,000 U.S. jobs were lost in 1995 due to our nation's extensive use of economic sanctions."

"We have organized because the evidence is clear: The proliferation of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions undermines American leadership and competitiveness, costs U.S. jobs, and results in significant losses to the U.S. economy. USA*ENGAGE will take its case to Congress, the President and the American people -- economic engagement, not unilateral sanctions, best promotes American values, security and prosperity," concluded Fites.


Contact: Eric Thomas or Kim McCreery at 202-822-9491