USA*ENGAGE Bemused by Proposed OPEC Sanctions

Monday, 20 March 2000

"We understand the frustration caused by higher oil prices due to limitations in supply. But U.S. sanctions are already in place against eight of the eleven OPEC member nations. It’s highly unlikely that additional measures would serve any purpose -- other than stiffening OPEC’s resolve," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE.

The United States already imposes some form of sanctions against the following members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries:

Libya Qatar

Nigeria Saudi Arabia

Iran United Arab Emirates

Iraq Venezuela

"Before new sanctions are pursued, the United States should look seriously at the effectiveness of the sanctions it already has in place," Kittredge continued. "We don’t doubt that there are genuine concerns over OPEC practices, but the reality of unilateral sanctions is that U.S. business and workers will end up paying the price of a foreign policy initiative that in all likelihood, is destined to fail."

"This legislation is yet another example of why reasonable sanctions reform legislation is necessary. Without a comprehensive process that would allow us to weigh the cost and benefits of future sanctions, we are destined to repeat our mistakes," Kittredge 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. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA* ENGAGE web site at


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