USA*ENGAGE Praises Trade Sanctions Plank of GOP Platform

Tuesday, 1 August 2000

"Our farmers already export some $54 billion in products and commodities every year," the platform said. "For them, for the aspirations of their families and the dreams of their children, the opening of foreign markets is essential. Governor Bush understands that. That's why... he has pledged to exempt food exports from any new trade sanctions."

Frank Kittredge, Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National Foreign Trade Council, said this platform language is a step in the right direction. "For too long now, the U.S. has hurt its own interests by imposing sanctions that restrict agricultural exports to target countries," he said. "Not only are these sanctions ineffective, they also hurt the most vulnerable people rather than the targeted governments."

Kittredge added, however, that sanctions affect businesses other than farmers. "The U.S. also needs to address the many other sanctions that restrict the export of U.S. manufactured goods and services. Unilateral U.S. sanctions have historically failed to achieve their stated goals. Instead, they have simply excluded U.S. companies from important foreign markets, without any political result."

"We urge both political parties to reassess the failed policy choice of unilateral sanctions, and to explore more effective ways of influencing the behavior of foreign governments," 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