Business Community Voices Strong Opposition to Iran Sanctions Bills

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Washington, DC – The National Foreign TradeCouncil (NFTC) and USA*Engage today joined other leading associations in urgingthe Administration to weigh in with Congress to eliminate H.R. 2194 and S. 2799– problematic legislative proposals that would expand U.S. sanctions on Iranand significantly undermine the U.S. national interest.

In a letter sent to NationalSecurity Advisor James Jones and National Economic Council Director LawrenceSummers, nine business organizations, including the NFTC and USA*Engage, wrote:

“Whilewe agree that preventing Iran from developing the capability to produce nuclearweapons is an urgent U.S. national security objective, the unilateral, extraterritorial, and overly broad approach of these bills would undercutrather than advance this critical objective.

“Theproposed sanctions would incite economic, diplomatic, and legal conflicts with U.S. allies and could frustrate joint actionagainst Iran. They could prohibit any U.S. company from transacting routinebusiness with critical partners from around the globe even if thesetransactions have no bearing on business with Iran. These provisions couldencompass a very large portion of the global trade community with consequencesthat in our view have not been adequately assessed….

“…TheUnited States and our allies must present a united front in the face of Iran’snuclear ambitions. Unfortunately, these proposals would undermine these goalswith sanctions of inappropriately sweeping reach, undue constraints on the U.S.Export-Import Bank, and the elimination of executive discretion in the conductof U.S. foreign policy. We urge you to weigh in vigorously with Congress toeliminate these highly problematic proposals.”

In addition to the NFTC andUSA*Engage, the letter was signed by Business Roundtable, the Coalition forEmployment through Exports, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, theNational Association of Manufacturers, the Organization for InternationalInvestment, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Council for InternationalBusiness.