Resolution on Unilateral Trade Sanctions


This resolution cautions against the use of unilateral trade sanctions to achieve international policy goals.  While the bill does not prohibit their use, it discourages their use until most, if not all, other options have been exhausted.  This policy is prudent given the strong evidence that unilateral trade sanctions have yet to prove successful anywhere they have been employed.

Resolution on Unilateral Trade Sanctions

Model Resolution

Whereas, the United States’ prosperity is tied to our participation in the global economy; and

Whereas, the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade – such as unilateral trade sanctions – are deterrents to American economic interests; and

Whereas, the imposition of unilateral trade sanctions on other nations puts American companies at a disadvantage against overseas competitors; and

Whereas, unilateral trade sanctions are ineffective and cause others to question the reliability of both America and its companies, and in the long run, causes disruptions in the U.S. economy; and

Whereas, it is the constitutional-vested role of the U.S. federal government to conduct American foreign policy, including the establishment of consistent ground rules for economic relationships with other countries; and

Whereas, the effective U.S. foreign policy requires a broad range of political, strategic, diplomatic and economic tools not available to state and local government; and

Whereas, the imposition of state and local unilateral trade sanctions are counter productive and ineffective, having little or no impact on the sanctioned country but mainly impact U.S. companies, their employees, and the local economy; and

Whereas, state and local sanctions adversely affect U.S. economic interests by stranding assets of U.S. companies operating in sanctioned countries; and

Whereas, a report released by the President’s export council shows that sanctions imposed by the U.S. government reduced our country’s exports by billions translating to hundreds of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers in the export sector; and

Whereas, the policy of constructive engagement and dialogue are powerful tools for change leading to personal and political freedom; and

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved, when sanctions are deemed appropriate, the United States should make every effort to do so multilaterally, not unilaterally.


Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.