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NEWS RELEASE 98-064; SEPTEMBER 8, 1998 September 8, 1998
News Release 98-064
Inv. No. 332-391


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) identified 42 separate federal laws that authorize economic sanctions in a report recently submitted to the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives.

The laws in question may mandate particular actions or may serve as the basis for mandatory or discretionary actions by the Executive Branch, according to the ITC report. The agency identified a total of 142 statutory provisions pertaining to unilateral economic sanctions under these laws, the largest percentage of which concern terrorism (20 percent).

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, prepared the report at the request of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ways and Means. The report provides legislators with a compilation of current unilateral economic sanctions, defined by the Committee as meaning "any unilateral restriction or condition on economic activity with respect to a foreign country or foreign entity that is imposed by the United States for reasons of foreign policy or national security." The report is expected to be useful to legislators as they consider sanction-related legislation.

As requested, the ITC's report includes a description of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions currently in effect; a review of recent literature on the economic effects of national level economic sanctions; a survey of affected U.S. industries concerning the costs and effects of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions on such industries and their markets; and a proposed methodology to analyze in future studies the short- and long-term costs of U.S. unilateral sanctions and their impact on the U.S. economy. As directed by the Committee, the report excludes certain trade measures, including multilateral sanctions, measures imposed to remedy unfair trade practices, and actions taken pursuant to the extension by the United States of most-favored-nation trading status. Following are highlights of the report:

The foregoing is from the ITC's report Overview and Analysis of Current U.S. Unilateral Economic Sanctions (Inv. No. 332-391, USITC Publication 3124, July 1998). The report will be posted on the ITC's Internet server at A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be faxed to 202-205-2104.

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