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USA*Engage, NFTC Honor Senator Dodd for Leadership on U.S. Cuba Policy, Multilateral Approach to Iran Sanctions
Date: 9/22/2010
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington, DC – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today honored Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) for his more than 35 years of leadership on issues related to international trade, diplomacy and U.S. global engagement. During the 13th annual USA*Engage luncheon, Senator Dodd was recognized for his commitment to reforming U.S. Cuba policy and advocating a multilateral approach to imposing sanctions against the Iranian regime.

“As a man who cares deeply about U.S. relations with Latin America, he has been a real champion for improving our Cuba policy. Senator Dodd has clearly understood and pointed out repeatedly that engagement and trade with Cuba can actually advance U.S. national security and that helping families get together and supporting humanitarian issues is the right thing to do,” said USA*Engage Co-Chair Del Renigar, who also serves as Senior Counsel for International Policy & Trade at General Electric.

“He brought that same passion and that same reasonableness to the Iran sanctions debate....Although USA*Engage continues to have fundamental concerns about unilateral sanctions, their appropriateness and their effectiveness, at the end of the day, we truly and deeply appreciate Senator Dodd’s championing a more multilateral and a more reasonable approach, as he has done throughout his career,” said Renigar.

In addition to being honored for his commitment to multilateralism and rethinking U.S. policy toward Cuba, Senator Dodd was praised for his long career in public service. From his days as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic to his stewardship over Latin America and the Peace Corps on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Dodd has consistently advocated U.S. global engagement.

“The United States achieves much more when it works with its friends and constructively engages countries with which it disagrees,” said Senator Chris Dodd. “Negotiations and constructive dialogue should not be viewed as gifts to our enemies, but rather as key tools in our nation’s foreign policy arsenal to advance America’s interest in the world. One of our next steps should be to end our isolationist policy toward Cuba, which has not brought about positive change and has sacrificed the freedom of American citizens to travel to and trade with Cuba.”

“Senator Dodd’s commitment to advancing U.S. interests with the help of our friends and allies is commendable, and we are grateful for his leadership on issues related to international engagement and diplomacy,” said USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya. “He is a true statesman and will be sorely missed when he retires this year.”

Annually, USA*Engage recognizes a lawmaker who has enhanced America’s national and economic security by promoting active global engagement and multilateral solutions to some of the most challenging foreign policy and trade issues facing the United States. Past honorees include Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), then-Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and former Reps. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and Cal Dooley (D-CA).

About 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 policymakers, 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 (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. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.