Major Trade Groups Urge Congress to Oppose ILSA

Wednesday, 23 May 2001

“It would be unwise in the extreme for Congress to renew sanctions or to impose new ones before the new U.S. Administration has developed its policy,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Co-Chairman of USA*Engage.

“U.S. national security issues should always be of paramount concern.  However, this case requires a far more sophisticated and targeted approach than ILSA – which is nothing more than a blunt instrument that hinders the real work of U.S. diplomacy,” he continued.  “Reauthorizing ILSA is wrong for so many reasons.  Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot again.”

Despite ILSA’s extraterritorial sanctions, both Iran and Libya receive significant capital investment in their oil and gas sectors. Last March, the Congressional Research Service reported that $10.5 billion of foreign investment has taken place in Iran’s oil and gas sector since 1997. Iran expects $1.5 billion to be invested in its petrochemical sector this year. These investors include France, Canada, Italy, Japan, the UK, among others – companies from our closest allies and most important trading partners, which have not been deterred by the threat of ILSA.

The letter, available at and, was signed by the following organizations:


Aerospace Industries Association

American Assn. of Exporters and Importers

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Hardware Manufacturers Assn.

American Petroleum Institute

Emergency Committee for American Trade

International Assn. of Drilling Contractors

National Association of Manufacturers

National Electrical Manufacturers Assn.

National Foreign Trade Council

Organization for International Investment


U.S. Council for International Business


USAHENGAGE is a coalition of over 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 USAHENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USAHENGAGE web site at


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