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NFTC, USA*Engage Express Deep Disappointment Over Senate Approval of Iran Sanctions Bill
Date: 1/29/2010
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today expressed disappointment over the Senate’s approval of S. 2799, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, & Divestment Act. The associations also urged lawmakers to fix the most counterproductive features of the legislation in conference.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Senate has approved additional unilateral sanctions on Iran for a number of reasons. The bill is at cross purposes with the Administration’s multilateral strategy as regards Iran; as many analysts have pointed out, if implemented, the additional sanctions would reinforce the power of those in Iran opposed to negotiations and potentially alienate our allies,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch.

“The bill is also counterproductive to the goal of generating jobs, economic growth and increasing trade, given the broad scope of the proposed sanctions and the unintended consequences of the proposed penalties for the global trade community,” said USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya. “We urge Congress to overhaul these most troubling provisions of the bill when it goes to conference, and we call on the Administration to exert its leadership and consult with Congress.”

Earlier this week, the NFTC and USA*Engage joined seven other leading business associations in sending a letter to National Security Advisor James Jones and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, urging them to weigh in with Congress to eliminate the Senate bill and its companion in the House, H.R. 2194.

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About the USA*Engage

USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of 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. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), 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.

About the NFTC

The National Foreign Trade Council 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.