USA*ENGAGE Praises Introduction of Sanctions Reform Legislation

Thursday, 3 February 2005
"The Sanctions Policy Reform Act will restore reason to the unilateral sanctions process by guaranteeing that policymakers consider the likelihood of success and the potential for unintended consequences before imposing unilateral sanctions," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Co-Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "We would like to thank Senator Lugar for his continued leadership on this important issue," added Reinsch.
The Lugar bill would require a more deliberative and disciplined approach to U.S. sanctions policy, so that such measures are driven by analysis, instead of being pushed to counterproductive ends by politics and emotion. As part of this process, the Sanctions Policy Reform Act would ensure that Congress and the Executive Branch have adequate information regarding the likely effectiveness and economic and humanitarian costs of a proposed sanction and whether the proposed sanction is the best tool for achieving U.S. objectives.

Specifically this bill would:

-Ensure that Congress and the President have information on whether future unilateral sanctions would be the most effective means for achieving a U.S. policy objective before they are imposed.
-Guarantee that the sanctions process considers the impact on U.S. business and agriculture and U.S. relationships with key allies.
-Sunset future Congressional and Executive Branch sanctions after two years, so that such measures are terminated unless a justification exists.

"Far too often unilateral sanctions are an ineffective tool for advancing U.S. foreign policy goals; hurting the people we are trying to help and having little if any impact on foreign governments. This legislation will improve this tool by ensuring that sanctions are used only when they are most effective and by minimizing the negative impact on populations in targeted countries and on U.S. business and agricultural interests," concluded Reinsch.