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USA*ENGAGE Labels Burma Sanctions a

Subject: USA*ENGAGE Labels Burma Sanctions a Serious Error 

USA*ENGAGE Labels Burma Sanctions a Serious Error 

    WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- "Today's decision to impose
unilateral economic sanctions on Burma represents a failure of American
foreign policy.  The best tool we have for promoting values and democracy is
to be actively engaged abroad.  Unilateral sanctions rarely work and are often
counterproductive because they isolate a country from American influence,"
said Frank Kittredge, Vice Chair Of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National
Foreign Trade Council.
    USA*ENGAGE and its 466 members have once again called upon the United
States to stop the proliferation of unilateral sanctions as its primary tool
of foreign policy.  In the past four years the U.S. has imposed 61 unilateral
trade sanctions an 35 nations.
    In addition, the coalition points to the high cost of sanctions on
Americans, which are documented in an Institute for International Economics
study released on April 16, 1997, which credited U.S. sanctions with costing
as much as $20 billion a year in lost U.S. exports and 250,000 export related
    "The evidence is clear, multilateral cooperation works far better than
unilateral sanctions.  Today's action perpetuates a bad precedent by ceding
American leadership while rewarding our foreign competitors," continued
    USA*ENGAGE is a broad-based coalition representing American business and
agriculture, which supports American engagement overseas as the best means to
promote human rights, values and American interests.  Coalition members are
undertaking a sustained effort to support greater overseas involvement by the
United States at all levels -- political, diplomatic, economic, charitable,
religious, educational and cultural -- and to oppose the use of unilateral
economic sanctions.
    For more information about USA*ENGAGE and the sanctions issue visit the
 USA*ENGAGE Web site at: http://www.usaensage.org.