USA*ENGAGE to Oppose Consideration of Any New Unilateral Sanctions

Wednesday, 30 September 1998

"The Task Force report is now one-month overdue, despite Senator Lott's request for 'timely recommendations,'" said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "Important sanctions reform legislation has been on hold since July, and will likely not be reconsidered until the Task Force issues its final report. It therefore doesn't make sense to move forward on religious persecution -- the most far-reaching sanctions bill of the 105th Congress -- before the Task Force recommendations are issued."

On July 15, 1998, the full Senate voted 53-46 to table the Sanctions Reform Act (S.1413) -- a bill to provide a more disciplined, common sense approach when considering future unilateral sanctions. This action was taken in large part to accommodate the work of the Task Force.

The request to hold all pending unilateral sanctions legislation has also been made in a letter to the Task Force by 62 Chief Executive Officers and the leaders of America's major business associations.

"If the work of the Task Force is indeed being taken seriously, there should be no question that all sanctions bills should be put on hold until the long-awaited recommendations have been made. We strongly urge that no new sanctions be considered until the Task Force completes its work," Kittredge concluded.

The 18-Member Senate Sanctions Task Force was appointed by Majority Leader Trent Lott on June 26. The Task Force is chaired by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Joseph Biden (D-DE).

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 676 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. To read a copy of the CEO letter to the Senate Sanctions Task Force, click here.

Contact: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491


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