NFTC and USA*ENGAGE Urge Against Sanctioning Russia

Saturday, 15 January 2000

"The stability of Russia's democracy has been in question for some time. The recent transition of power has lead to even greater uncertainty. Now is not the time for the U.S. to threaten sanctions, nor to cede the Russian market to foreign competition," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE.

Kittredge referred to recent statements by both Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican Sen. John McCain calling for the withdrawal of competitive financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank to protest Russia's war in Chechnya.

"Threatening economic sanctions will only reduce U.S. influence in Russia. We should be doing everything we can to help stabilize Russia's economy and its democracy by engaging its new leadership," Kittredge continued. "If history has taught us anything, imposing sanctions on Russia -- whether via Soviet grain or pipeline embargoes -- has been totally counterproductive. We are hopeful that in the future, the candidates will refrain from attempting to score quick political points by threatening to make it difficult for Russia to buy American-made products."

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.

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