USA*ENGAGE Calls for Accelerated

Tuesday, 2 June 1998

"If the threat of U.S. sanctions was to prevent India and Pakistan from proceeding with nuclear tests -- the threat has failed. Given the seriousness of the situation, it is critical that the United States better understand the limitations of unilateral sanctions and the importance of multilateral and diplomatic efforts," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE.

Kittredge stated that a sanctions-based foreign policy -- as mandated in this case by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act -- now requires the imposition of sweeping economic sanctions against India and Pakistan. He also noted that with the addition of India to the U.S. sanctions list, the United States is now targeting over two-thirds of the world's population with sanctions.

"At a time when the President and the Secretary of State should have maximum flexibility in negotiating a diplomatic solution, a restrictive U.S. law is now forcing the imposition of sanctions, severely limiting alternative policy choices," he continued. "Without presidential discretion, current U.S. policy could actually increase tensions on the Asian subcontinent."

"It is disturbing that many in Congress still turn to unilateral sanctions as the primary foreign policy 'weapon of choice.' This reliance continues despite mounting evidence that such policies are rarely effective and often counterproductive. Now, more than ever, the president must have the flexibility to work with U.S. allies and strategic partners to defuse the crisis in south Asia," Kittredge concluded.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 671 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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