USA*ENGAGE and NFTC Issue Congressional "Report Card"

Thursday, 22 October 1998

In making his point on bipartisan support, Kittredge referred to the "A+" category -- commending its six Members, which include: Republicans Phil Crane (IL), Jim Kolbe (AZ), and Matt Salmon (AZ); and Democrats Lee Hamilton (IN), Vic Snyder (AR), and Ellen Tauscher (CA). The report card was prepared at the request of USA*ENGAGE and NFTC member companies and associations. It examines seven key pieces of legislation, while adding "extra credit" for sponsorship of the Hamilton-Crane-Lugar Sanctions Reform Act. The following votes were evenly weighted.

1. Religious Persecution Sanctions Vote to defeat the Wolf-Specter Freedom from Religious Persecution Bill May 13, 1998 USA* Engage/NFTC position defeated 375 - 41

2. China NTR Vote in favor of Normal Trade Relations with China (voting to defeat "Disapproval of MFN Treatment for China") July 22, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position passed 264 - 166

3. Vietnam Waiver Vote to support waiver authority for trade with Vietnam (voting to defeat bill "Disapproving Extension of Waiver Authority with Respect to Vietnam") July 30, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position passed 260 - 163

4. State and Local Sanctions Vote to defeat Kucinich Amendment (which would prevent USTR from opposing court challenges to state, local and tribal laws that violate U.S. trade and treaty obligations) August 5, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position passed 228 - 200

5. Africa Trade Vote to enact African Growth and Opportunity Act March 11, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position passed 233 - 186

6. Repeal of Section 907 Vote to repeal Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act prohibiting direct U.S. government assistance to Azerbaijan September 17, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position defeated 231-182

7. Fast Track Negotiating Authority HR 2621 September 25, 1998 USA*Engage/NFTC position defeated 243-180

8. Sanctions Reform Cosponsors (Extra Credit) Cosponsor of H.R. 2708 the Hamilton-Crane-Lugar Sanctions Reform Act as of October 15, 1998 88 House cosponsors

Points were applied to the following grading scale: A+ = 8; A= 7; B = 5-6; C = 3-4; D = 1-2; F = 0 points.

Kittredge noted that there were not enough clearly defined votes in the Senate this year to make a meaningful assessment. The full report card is available on the USA*ENGAGE web site at

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.


Contact: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491


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