USA*Engage Condemns ILSA Renewal, Calls for President to Rescind Executive Orders Prohibiting Trade

Thursday, 2 August 2001

“We do not believe that ILSA should have been renewed at all since this secondary boycott has proven to be ineffective, shortsighted and costly,” stated USAHEngage Chairman Don Deline.  “We are also troubled that ILSA signals a congressional intent to limit White House options in policy toward these two countries and implies that the President should not be trusted to interact with them without restrictions.”

Deline continued by reminding policymakers of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s admonition to Congess to “take a deep breath, count to ten and call me” before enacting new sanctions.

“Your Administration understands the power of engagement to bring about lasting change,” Deline stated, “ but the current Executive Order sanctions have completely eliminated this valuable tool.”   Deline pointed to the following reasons the Executive Order sanctions should be rescinded:

·        by denying U.S. firms the ability to trade in such areas as agricultural equipment, medical research, spare parts, transportation resources, and electronics, the Executive Order sanctions on Iran and Libya deprive the United States of key influence;

·        at the very time that the U.S. is developing a new energy policy, unilateral sanctions on Iran and Libya limit potential sources of energy; 

·         given the fact that foreign firms can participate in Iran and Libya’s energy sector even under ILSA, the Executive Orders place U.S. companies at a serious long-term disadvantage.

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 www.usaengage.org.