USA*ENGAGE Calls Thompson-Torricelli Amendment 'Most Important Sanctions Vote of 2000'

Monday, 11 September 2000

"Clearly, weapons proliferation is an important issue," said Bill Lane, Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and Caterpillar’s Washington Director for Government Affairs. "However, the imposition of yet another unilateral sanctions regime is unlikely to prove effective, especially because the U.S. already has proliferation controls in place."

Lane added that the Thompson-Torricelli amendment has not been evaluated by Congress to determine whether the sanctions against China will be effective. Given the dismal record of U.S. unilateral sanctions, USA*ENGAGE has championed legislation that would require a more thoughtful review of new unilateral sanctions proposals.

"As recent history has clearly demonstrated, U.S. unilateral sanctions rarely work, are frequently counterproductive, and often hurt other American objectives," Lane said. "In this case, the Thompson-Torricelli amendment threatens to unravel years of progress with China, just as the Congress is poised to take a major step in U.S.-China relations by approving permanent normal trade relations for China."

Recognizing the importance of the vote, Lane emphasized that the Thompson-Torricelli amendment would be included as an important part of the USA*ENGAGE/National Foreign Trade Council Senate report card, which will be issued later this month.

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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