Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today joined with other leading business associations in sending a letter to all members of the House and Senate, urging them to oppose the inclusion of Section 803 in H.R. 4310, the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act FY13, in any final legislative product.
The groups wrote:
“As passed by the House, Section 803 would prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from contracting for the procurement of any goods or services with any person that has business operations with a state sponsor of terrorism. While U.S. companies work diligently to comply with the extensive sanctions already in place on the four U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism — Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria — Section 803 could inadvertently penalize commercial activities that are far removed from these countries and punish firms engaging in legitimate, job-creating commerce.
“Of note, Section 803’s definition of ‘business operations’ is extremely broad, and its definition of ‘person’ is far-reaching. Its debarment provision is triggered by activities – including humanitarian relief and a broad range of other activities fully in keeping with American values – related to any and all of the four countries and should be dropped from any final defense authorization legislation.
“…Section 803 not only far exceeds any existing sanctions measures, it contravenes the letter and spirit of U.S. defense cooperation agreements, with no articulated justification or finding of need. It undermines overarching U.S. foreign and security interests in preserving existing multilateral coalitions of countries united in their support of measures to inhibit global terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation.”
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 worldwide.
About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Nearly A Century- 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.
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