American Shipper

Industry bemoans Iran sanctions bill vote

Industry bemoans Iran sanctions bill vote


   The U.S. Senate on Friday approved a bill to increase sanctions against Iran that numerous industry groups warned would harm U.S. international trade more than Iran's nuclear development efforts.

   On Jan. 26, nine large trade associations told the White House in a letter that the proposed Senate bill (S. 2799) and its companion in the House (H.R. 2194) run counter to President Obama's plan to curtail Iran's nuclear prowess.

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   'We are extremely disappointed that the Senate has approved additional unilateral sanctions on Iran,' said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council and co-chairman of USA*Engage, in a statement. 'The bill is at cross purposes with the administration's multilateral strategy as regards to Iran; as many analysts have pointed out, if implemented, the additional sanctions would reinforce the power of those in Iran opposed to negotiations and potentially alienate our allies.'

   'We urge Congress to overhaul these most troubling provisions of the bill when it goes to conference, and we call on the administration to exert its leadership and consult with Congress,' said Richard Sawaya, director of USA*Engage.