USA*ENGAGE Urges Maryland Legislators

Wednesday, 25 March 1998

"It seems clear, given that unilateral sanctions have a history of being ineffective at the federal level, that state sanctions would have even less chance of success," argued Kittredge in testimony before the Maryland House Commerce and Government Matters Committee. "No one would argue that the behavior of the Nigerian leadership is totally offensive and must be changed. But the imposition of ineffective sanctions only make a statement without any impact."

Kittredge argued that state and local sanctions make it harder for the federal government to gain international support for US foreign policy objectives. He challenged the legislators to work cooperatively with the federal government to find some other action at the federal level that could have a chance of influencing Nigeria.

Kittredge stated that political and commercial engagement can be a powerful force for change. "During the post-Cold War era" said Kittredge, "trade and investment have proven to be the primary means of influencing economic and political change throughout the world."

Calling sanctions a "boomerang" approach to foreign policy, Kittredge said, "rather than altering foreign behavior, selective purchasing measures mainly impact US companies, their employees and the local economy. As a center for trade, investment and cultural exchanges, Maryland can only lose ground and lose jobs by burdening the relationships its businesses establish," he said.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 661 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: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491

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