US business groups are balking at the prospect of the Obama administration imposing additional business and trade sanctions on Russia.
The US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have taken out newspaper advertisements warning that potential sanctions on Russian energy, defense and financial sectors could be detrimental to US businesses and workers.
“We are concerned about actions that would harm American manufacturers and cost American jobs,” states Jay Timmons, NAM’s president and chief executive (CEO). “The most effective long-term solution to increase America’s global influence is to strengthen our ability to provide goods and services to the world through pro-trade policies and multilateral diplomacy.”
Similar concerns have been raised by European business groups as the US and its allies contemplate steeping up sanctions on Russia if it continues supporting separatists who have engaged in violence in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Linda Dempsey, the NAM’s vice president of international economic affairs, said that members are particularly concerned about the prospect of unilateral sanctions imposed only by the US. Unilateral sanctions would not deter Russia, but instead “single out US industries and workers” and put them at a disadvantage to foreign competitors, she added.
The newspaper advertisement from the NAM and the US Chamber of Commerce targets ‘unilateral’ sanctions, but the US has said that it intends to act in concert with allies.
In the advertisement, US Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue says that “history shows that unilateral sanctions don’t work, (and) the only effect of such sanctions is to bar US companies from foreign markets and cede business opportunities to firms from other countries.”
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