USA*ENGAGE Urges Senate to Reject Unilateral Sanctions on Indonesia

Monday, 4 October 1999

The legislation in question, S.1568, a bill terminating U.S. bilateral aid to Indonesia, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 28 without benefit of a hearing. The bill was introduced by Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI). In addition, language in the September 27 conference report on foreign operations appropriations could have the effect of terminating Ex-Im Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation programs in Indonesia.

"Legislating new sanctions without even one public hearing is all too typical of the 'ready, fire, aim' approach of U.S. sanctions policy," Kittredge continued. "This legislation will only reduce U.S. influence in the region at a time when the political situation is, at best, uncertain." Kittredge noted the weakened position of President Habibe prior to the selection of a new Indonesian president at the end of October. "S.1568 is a stealth approach to sanctions and a prime example of why Congress should enact sanctions reform legislation allowing for a full consideration of the merits of any future sanctions," he concluded.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 670 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.