USA*ENGAGE Urges Restraint on State and Local Swiss Sanctions

Wednesday, 8 July 1998

"These negotiations clearly fall within the federal domain. Any efforts by states and municipalities to impose sanctions on the Swiss will hurt overall U.S. goals," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "We support the State Department in its efforts to work out an acceptable solution that will not harm U.S. - Swiss relations."

Several states, including California and New York, have announced various sanctions against the Swiss banks involved in the negotiations. The New Jersey legislature and other state and local governments are considering action as well.

"The State Department and the Volcker Commission must be free to do their work unhindered by the threat of state and local sanctions. Already there is evidence that these efforts are having counterproductive results," Kittredge continued. "The United States must speak with one voice on issues as complex and sensitive as this. The best opportunity for a fair settlement will come if the federal government, not various states and cities, is conducting negotiations on behalf of U.S. citizens."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 675 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. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at


Contact: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491

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