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November 23, 2008 

NFTC Releases Report on Impact of Lifting U.S. Sanctions on Iran

The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) has released the results of an economic study commissioned by USA*Engage entitled "Normalization of Economic Relations: Consequences for Iran’s Economy and the United States." The study, prepared by economists Dean DeRosa and Gary Hufbauer, explores the effects of lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and how such a shift in policy could impact the world economy, the U.S. and Iranian economies, U.S. multinational corporations, the international oil-and-gas sector and the price of oil.

The study reports the following conclusions:

  • In the medium-term, lifting U.S. sanctions and liberalizing Iran’s economic regime would increase Iran's total trade annually by as much as $61 billion, adding 32 percent to Iran’s GDP.
  • In the oil-and-gas sector, output and exports would expand by 25-to-50% (adding 3% to world crude oil production).
  • Iran's non-oil trade would expand by between $17 billion and $35 billion.
  • Iran would enjoy new service imports from the U.S. and the E.U. of about $1 billion, followed by substantial foreign investment in Iran’s service sector once economic policies are liberalized.
  • The U.S. would also gain appreciably from normalization.
  • Provided no offsets to production occur elsewhere in the OPEC area, increased oil production by Iran could reduce the world price of crude petroleum by 10%, saving the U.S. annually between $38 billion (at the 2005 world oil price of $50/bbl) and $76 billion (at the proximate 2008 world oil price of $100/bbl).
  • Opening Iran’s market place to foreign investment could also be a boon to competitive U.S. multinational firms operating in a variety of manufacturing and service sectors.




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