USA*Engage Urges Congress to Oppose Proposed Syria Sanctions

Monday, 21 April 2003

"Any consideration of new sanctions on Syria could not be more poorly timed," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and co-chairman of USA*Engage. "The progress we have begun to witness with Syria points to the importance of diplomacy. Having the flexibility to continue a high level dialogue is of the utmost importance if the U.S. is to achieve its foreign policy objectives. Tying the hands of the Administration with mandatory sanctions is ill-advised and short-sighted, at best."

Reinsch noted that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled to visit Syria this week to continue diplomatic negotiations on issues related to the Iraq war.

"Increasing Syria's cooperation with us is an important goal, but legislation is not the right way to achieve it. Unilateral sanctions almost never work, and in this case tying the President's hands would clearly be counterproductive," Reinsch concluded.

USA*ENGAGE 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 USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at