USA*Engage Calls Proposed Syria Sanctions Futile

Wednesday, 8 October 2003

In addition to banning U.S. exports and investments, the "Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003" would drastically cut U.S./Syrian diplomatic ties.

"This is a clear case of domestic politics getting in the way of sound judgment and the vital need for increased diplomatic outreach," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and co-chairman of USA*Engage. "History has shown that unilateral sanctions rarely, if ever, achieve their intended consequences."

In lieu of U.S. unilateral sanctions on Syria, Reinsch called on the U.S. to seek support for an international response to the problems in the region.

"The issues facing the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East are critical and complex. The proposed sanctions make a mockery of diplomacy and will only tie the hands of our government at the worst possible time. This legislation is not only futile, its passage will distract from efforts that could actually make a difference," 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