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CME joins other leading business groups in urging the US Congress to oppose inclusion of sanctions provision in Defense spending bill

Published by Stephanie Brooks on September 18, 2012

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters joined with other leading business associations in sending a letter to all members of the House and Senate, urging them to oppose the inclusion of Section 803 in H.R. 4310, the House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act FY13, in any final legislative product.

The groups wrote:

"Were Section 803 to become law, however, the provision would play havoc with U.S. defense supply chains, jeopardize relations with strategic defense allies, and discourage investment in the U.S. economy."

"As passed by the House, Section 803 would prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from contracting for the procurement of any goods or services with any person that has business operations with a state sponsor of terrorism. While U.S. companies work diligently to comply with the extensive sanctions already in place on the four U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism - Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria - Section 803 could inadvertently penalize commercial activities that are far removed from these countries and punish firms engaging in legitimate, job-creating commerce."

"Of note, Section 803's definition of ‘business operations' is extremely broad, and its definition of ‘person' is far-reaching. Its debarment provision is triggered by activities - including humanitarian relief and a broad range of other activities fully in keeping with American values - related to any and all of the four countries and should be dropped from any final defense authorization legislation."

"...Section 803 not only far exceeds any existing sanctions measures, it contravenes the letter and spirit of U.S. defense cooperation agreements, with no articulated justification or finding of need. It undermines overarching U.S. foreign and security interests in preserving existing multilateral coalitions of countries united in their support of measures to inhibit global terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation."

In addition to CME, it was signed by the following groups:

  • AdvaMed Aerospace Industries Association
  • Airlines For America
  • American Association of Exporters and Importers
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
  • Cargo Airline Association Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
  • General Aviation Manufacturers Association Information
  • Technology Industry Council National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • National Defense Industrial Association National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
  • National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
  • Organization for International Investment Telecommunications Industry Association
  • USA*Engage
  • US Chamber of Commerce

The letter is available online, here.

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