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NFTC, USA*Engage Applaud Senator Webb’s Burma Visit
Date: 8/18/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today released a statement applauding Senator Jim Webb for his two-day diplomatic visit to Burma this past weekend.

“Senator Webb’s success in negotiating with the Burmese government to secure the release of American prisoner John Yettaw and to meet with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is tangible evidence of the crucial role diplomacy and engagement play in advancing relations with nations that do not necessarily subscribe to U.S. values and ideals,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch.

“Instead of pursuing U.S. national interests through diplomacy, members of Congress embrace economic sanctions, despite all their unintended consequences,” said USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya. “We welcome Senator Webb’s recognition that sanctions do not change the behavior of regimes at odds with the United States. In the case of Burma, they have in fact stiffened the resolve of its military and hurt U.S. commerce to the benefit of China. We commend the senator’s support for diplomacy that may include commercial engagement.”

Since its inception in 1997, USA*Engage has advocated for increased engagement and dialogue between the United States and the international community, as opposed to unilateral sanctions. Through various initiatives, USA*Engage helps to inform policymakers’ perspectives on the diplomatic and economic costs of a U.S. foreign policy too reliant on sanctions.
About USA Engage

USA*Engage ( 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 (, 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.