USA*ENGAGE Disappointed in U.S. Defense of Massachusetts Sanctions

Wednesday, 23 July 1997

"The decision to defend a misguided Massachusetts law will only encourage individual states and municipalities to further engage in their own foreign policies," said Frank Kittredge, Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National Foreign Trade Council. "This decision is clearly not in our country's interest, and it sets a dangerous precedent that will complicate U.S. foreign policy in the future."

Since 1995, 49 unilateral economic measures have been imposed, or are now proposed, by state and local governments throughout the United States. These sanctions will negatively impact exports with at least 18 different countries, including China, Egypt, Indonesia, Switzerland and Turkey.

"The proliferation of unilateral sanctions at the state and local level is an increasingly serious problem for the U.S.," Kittredge continued. "While well-intended and politically popular, over the long-run these efforts almost never work, and are often counterproductive."

USA*ENGAGE is a broad-based coalition representing 619 small and large American businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations. The organization supports American engagement overseas as the best means to promote human rights, values and American 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