Today, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on ‘Russia and Developments in Ukraine.’ During the hearing, Senators from both sides of the aisle expressed concern over the escalating situation in Ukraine. Manufacturers agree, and we remain deeply concerned over the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. We continue to support the Administration’s efforts to pursue multilateral approaches that will effectively resolve this crisis. Just as in the international economic arena, countries must abide by and not flout longstanding and widely agreed international norms.
The NAM disagrees strongly, however, with those that propose that the United States go it alone and impose unilateral economic sanctions that would cut off U.S. commercial engagement with industry sectors in Russia. As recognized by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Daniel Glaser and Senators from both sides of the aisle at today’s hearing, unilateral sanctions are far less effective because foreign companies can quickly backfill. As a result unilateral sanctions result in highly negative costs to American industry and the American economy.
Time and again, U.S. unilateral economic sanctions have been shown to impose little, if any, cost on the targeted country, while disproportionately harming U.S. industry and workers. These negative commercial effects usually continue for years, if not decades. For these reasons, the NAM has long opposed unilateral sanctions and continues to do so today. While some Senators talked about the urgency of action, action that does not increase stability in the region or promote a resolution of this conflict is not action worth taking.
As the United States continues its work, we all must also recognize that our international partners have an obligation to step up and work jointly with the United States to develop the type of multilateral approach that will be effective. The longstanding bipartisan and business consensus for multilateral approaches calibrated to resolve this crisis must remain strong.