“The Senate’s vote today to approve additional unilateral Iran sanctions is at odds with the U.S. government’s official position of pursuing a dual track of multilateral sanctions and diplomatic engagement. The vote was unfortunate, and we are deeply disappointed.
“At a time when thoughtful diplomacy and working in concert with U.S. allies is critical, the Senate’s action today flies in the face of pursuing common purpose.
“If there is but one provision in the entire amendment that makes sense, it is the explicit protection of humanitarian trade in agricultural products, food, medicine and medical devices. We hope that the administration will clarify the financing of this type of trade moving forward.”
On Wednesday, as the Senate began its consideration of the defense authorization bill, Sawaya sent a letter to all Senators, urging them to oppose any amendments to the bill that would impose additional U.S. unilateral sanctions.
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.