Washington state Congressman Adam Smith today announced his support of the Crane-Dooley Sanctions Process Reform legislation, which establishes new procedures for consideration of future U.S. unilateral sanctions.

“Unilateral sanctions don’t work,” Smith explained. “I am a strong supporter of this legislation because it’s clear that unilateral sanctions do not help advance U.S. foreign policy goals; on the contrary, unilateral sanctions can work to our disadvantage because they erect further barriers between America and the rest of the world.”

The Crane-Dooley Sanctions Process Reform bill creates a more deliberative and thoughtful approach to unilateral sanctions, according to Smith. “The bill requires that we answer some common sense questions, such as whether or not the unilateral sanction will be effective, if it is working towards a specific objective, and whether or not the proposed sanction will actually undermine other U.S. security, foreign policy or humanitarian objectives,” Smith said. “It also requires us to take into account the economic costs imposed on our own country. Our companies are competing globally, and unilateral sanctions simply allow other countries to capture foreign markets, which can have grave consequences on American companies, workers, and the economy. Between 1993 and 1996, 61 new unilateral sanctions were authorized. Currently, U.S. companies are prohibited from exporting to 41 percent of the world’s population because of sanctions.”

Smith also noted, “As a New Democrat, I feel that it’s critical that we examine other options before immediately resorting to a unilateral sanction. This legislation requires us to examine other options, and it is my hope that we will avoid unilateral sanctions in the future and instead adopt policies that are more effective.”