USA*Engage Calls for Increased Congressional Funding for Sudan

Friday, 27 January 2006
The two groups endorsed a call by Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe for increased emergency support for African Union peacekeepers.  The Bush administration should submit, and Congress should approve, an emergency supplemental request as soon as possible to improve multilateral efforts supporting peace in Sudan.

“Some lawmakers across the United States are trying to pursue foreign policy on the cheap,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair William A. Reinsch.  “Federal and state legislatures are debating ill-considered sanctions that will not achieve their intended effects when they should be funding efforts that would actually make a difference to the people of Sudan.”

USA*Engage and the NFTC support positive U.S. engagement and diplomatic efforts to improve human rights.  Unilateral sanctions are rarely effective in achieving their objectives, and often impose unintended economic costs while damaging relations with U.S. allies and the global reputation of U.S. companies.

The groups also sounded an alarm regarding efforts by state legislatures to pass legislation that would impose sanctions and require pension funds to divest from companies deemed to be doing business with or in Sudan under an overly-broad standard.  “Legislation coming out of Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and elsewhere is counterproductive, onerous, and we believe unconstitutional,” said Reinsch.  “The President and U.S. Congress should make foreign policy.  States should not.” 

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The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.

USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a broad-based coalition representing Americans from all regions, sectors and segments of our society concerned about the proliferation of unilateral economic sanctions at the federal, state, and local level. Established in 1997, USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide. USA*Engage promotes responsible alternatives to unilateral sanctions that advance U.S. humanitarian and foreign policy goals, such as intensified U.S. diplomacy and multilateral cooperation.