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May 09, 2007 

Trade Associations Urge Senate Not to Pass Bills That Would Impose Extraterritorial Sanctions for Doing Business in Iran

Ten trade associations today urged the U.S. Senate to reject S. 970, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, and S. 1234, the Stop Business with Terrorists Act of 2007, both of which would impose unilateral U.S. sanctions on foreign entities doing business with Iran, including many companies organized under the jurisdiction of U.S. allies.

In a letter to Senators, the associations argued that preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability is a “critical objective,” but signaled that both bills would detract from that objective by “targeting our allies for penalties,” thereby “draw[ing] attention away from the core problem.” The letter noted that both bills contain extraterritorial provisions that would make U.S. parent companies liable for the actions of their foreign subsidiaries.

According to the letter, whose signatories included USA*Engage, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Council for International Business, “The United States and its allies are making progress in assembling broad, multinational economic and diplomatic action against Iran. Enacting either S. 970 or S. 1234 and thereby imposing mandatory U.S. penalties on entities in the same countries that are assisting us would only undercut the progress that our diplomats are making.”




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