Unilateral Sanctions A Key Factor in Rising Trade Deficit

Friday, 18 July 1997

"The trend of increasing U.S trade deficits is disturbing, and it seems clear that U.S. unilateral sanctions are contributing to the problem," said Frank Kittredge, Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National Foreign Trade Council. "As we look at these disappointing export numbers, we can't forget that global trade is crucial to millions of American workers and families. Unilateral foreign policy sanctions are ineffective, counter-productive and end up hurting individual Americans by shutting off important global markets for American products. The overall results are evident in the trade deficits report."

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced a $10.2 billion trade deficit on goods and services for May 1997. This represents an increase of $1.5 billion in the deficit from April 1997. "It's time that the U.S. establishes a clear policy of engagement that recognizes the reality of the global market place," Kittredge continued. "Currently there are 24 unilateral sanctions proposals before the Congress, and more than a dozen more such measures before state and local governments. Rather than relying on unilateral sanctions as its principal foreign policy tool, the United States should place greater reliance on a policy of engagement and multilateral cooperation."

USA*ENGAGE is a broad-based coalition representing 609 small and large American businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations. The organization supports American engagement overseas as the best means to promote human rights and American values and interests. Coalition members are undertaking a sustained effort to support greater overseas involvement by the United States at all levels -- political, diplomatic, economic, charitable, religious, educational and cultural -- and to seek alternatives to the use of unilateral economic sanctions.


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