Until recently, American trade associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have made their opposition to the imposition of further sanctions on Russia known to the Administration in a relatively quiet manner. Now however, in light of U.S. and European leaders’ warnings that a new round of sanctions on particular sectors of the Russian economy are likely to be imposed if Russia does not take steps to facilitate the de-escalation of the crisis in east Ukraine, these groups are stepping up lobbying efforts against an expansion of the U.S.’s Ukraine-related sanctions program.
The associations’ campaign includes plans for newspaper ads saying that an expansion of U.S. sanctions to include key sectors of the Russian economy such as energy, defense, and finance, would harm U.S. manufacturers and threaten American jobs. Their aggressive stance reflects the concern that additional sanctions could irreversibly hurt U.S. industry by disturbing long-standing trade relationships between Russian and American firms and opening the door for foreign competitors to swoop in and take the business. A unilateral expansion of sanctions against Russia continues to be the greatest concern, as this would disadvantage U.S. exporters in relation to their overseas competitors. As an alternative, the trade groups recommend sticking to a pro-trade policy coupled with multilateral diplomatic efforts aimed at coxing the Russia into cooperating with stabilization efforts in Ukraine.
Government officials and members of Congress are well aware that additional sanctions could backfire and hurt the American economy as a whole and U.S. exporters in particular. Therefore, they too would prefer an amicable resolution to the crisis in Ukraine that does not disturb existing ties between Russian and American trade partners. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion. Contact your representatives in Congress or any trade association related to your business. To find your congressional representative Google your zip code and “congressional district”.