Proposed Sudan Sanctions Labeled Counterproductive

Friday, 17 October 1997

Because Sudan supplies most of the world's supply of gum arabic -- an integral component to many American-made pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, printing inks, soft drinks and candy -- important supplies could be cut off, and U.S. prices could skyrocket. Sudan, however, would continue its exports to other nations, rendering the unilateral U.S. effort meaningless.

"Sudan is only one example of why unilateral sanctions should not be our weapon of choice when attempting to influence the behavior of other nations," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "Together, Specter/Wolf and McCollum/Schumer would impose sweeping unilateral sanctions against many important U.S. trading partners. These sanctions would undoubtedly force unintended consequences -- such as loss of markets, product shortages and higher consumer prices -- without ever influencing the behavior of targeted nations."

According to the June 1997 Report of the President's Export Council, the U.S. has imposed unilateral sanctions against 75 countries representing 52 percent of the world's population.

"There is a growing acknowledgment that unilateral sanctions often undermine our nation's foreign policy goals and invariably hurt U.S. exporters and workers. The United States has many diplomatic tools at its disposal that should be utilized before unilateral sanctions are even considered," Kittredge concluded.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 652 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.


Contact: Page Gardner at 202-822-9491