USA*Engage Honors Rep. Jim Moran for Commitment to Trade and Global Engagement

Monday, 14 September 2009
Washington, D.C. – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today hosted a luncheon to honor Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) for his leadership on international trade, diplomacy and U.S. global engagement for nearly two decades. During the 12th annual USA*Engage lunch, Rep. Moran discussed the important role trade plays in fueling the U.S. economy, and the need for increased engagement with other nations, as opposed to additional unilateral sanctions.

“USA*Engage has recognized for many years policy leaders, Republican and Democrat, who are leading lights on trade, foreign policy and national security. These kinds of leaders know in their gut that it is in America’s national security and economic security interests to work with our friends and allies and not to sanction them,” said USA*Engage Co-Chair Del Renigar. “It is my pleasure today to add Jim Moran to this pantheon of wise leaders. Congressman Moran has a long history of commitment to our country. Notable among his many accomplishments is his strong consistent support for free trade and global engagement.”

In particular, USA*Engage recognized Rep. Moran for his recent vote opposing an amendment to the FY2010 State, Foreign Appropriations bill, which would have prohibited the Export-Import Bank from supporting U.S. exports to companies worldwide that may have business ties with Iran’s energy sector. The NFTC and USA*Engage believe that the amendment amounted to a unilateral U.S. sanction on worldwide companies and would have severely harmed America’s companies and workers and more importantly, companies operating in the same countries whose governments are playing leading roles in multilateral efforts to influence the Iranian regime.

During his remarks regarding additional sanctions against Iran being proposed by members of Congress, Rep. Moran stated, “The reality is that if we impose sanctions, they [other nations] won’t, and simply, they will have a stronger foothold. Our response isn’t effective and nor will it be. We need to empower those young people [of Iran], the majority of whom are under 25. Sanctions just give more fuel to the propaganda of the regime.”

Since its inception, USA*Engage has maintained a commitment to advocating for diplomacy and dialogue as means of addressing important political, social and economic concerns facing the global community.  USA*Engage also remains a strong proponent of trade and citizen diplomacy, and consistently opposes U.S. unilateral sanctions.

In addition to being honored for his stance against unilateral sanctions, the congressman was also applauded for his efforts to reform U.S. policy toward Cuba and for his support of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) and other trade-liberalizing legislation.

With regard to trade, Rep. Moran highlighted the economic impact, noting, “Some 550,000 jobs in California are due to trade, 340,000 in Texas, millions more jobs in our economy. Seventy percent of our small and medium-sized businesses are directly or indirectly related to exports.”

“Congressman Moran is one of the true champions of trade and diplomacy in Congress. He has stood up time and time again in support of what he believes is right and has cast votes that are based on his belief in the value of economic and diplomatic engagement, even when it was not politically convenient to do so,” said Director of USA*Engage Richard Sawaya. “We deeply value his leadership and are pleased to honor him today.”