USA*Engage Denounces Syria Sanctions Imposed by Bush Administration

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

"These sanctions on Syria will do far more harm than good in a region that desperately needs U.S. leadership and influence. The enforcement of economic sanctions will likely harden the Syrian position and further polarize the bilateral relationship - hardly the result the Bush administration wants or needs," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Co-Chairman of USA*Engage. "While we fully support U.S. efforts to curb deplorable Syrian behavior, we simply do not believe that unilateral sanctions will bring about the results that we all seek. History has shown that unilateral sanctions rarely, if ever, achieve their intended consequences.

"In addition, imposition of sanctions will negatively impact the more than 300 U.S. businesses that currently do business in Syria. The sanctions will shut down economic cooperation between our two countries at the worst possible time. The sanctions are not only futile, they 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