The Book of Ron Paul
1998 Ron Paul Chapter 61

Time To Reconsider Destructive Embargo Policies

17 June 1998

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Wednesday, June 17, 1998

1998 Ron Paul 61:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I have long held that the real victims of U.S. trade policy, and specifically of our various trade embargoes, are American citizens who hope to sell goods abroad, most especially our agricultural producers. The intended victims of sanctions are corrupt foreign rulers but they always find a way to get goods from our competitors and when they fail to do so they simply pass along any suffering to their internal political opponents.

1998 Ron Paul 61:2
But, as I said, somebody is negatively affected. A recent issue of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s “Farm Bureau News” contains a headline story which does a fabulous job of explaining how these embargoes adversely affect our American Farmers and Ranchers. In this front page story the Farm Bureau News masterfully details the true impact of trade embargoes.

1998 Ron Paul 61:3
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to represent a very rural, agriculturally-based district. My constituents are well aware of the importance of opening export markets for America’s agricultural producers. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to place in the RECORD this story from the Farm Bureau News in hopes that people in the Administration, as well as in this Congress will begin to reconsider destructive embargo policies which only harm our nation’s farmers and other producers including my constituents.

1998 Ron Paul 61:4
Trade sanctions and embargoes for the purpose of social reform or other reasons hurt American farmers and ranchers more than any other sector of the economy, Farm Bureau told a House Agriculture subcommittee last week.

1998 Ron Paul 61:5
“Farm Bureau strongly opposes all artificial trade constraints such as embargoes or sanctions except in the case of armed conflicts,” said Ron Warfield, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “We believe that opening trading systems around the world and engagement through trade are the most effective means of reaching international economic stability.” President Clinton imposed sanctions against India and Pakistan after those countries detonated nuclear devices. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Smith (ROre.) and ranking minority member Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) have urged Clinton to exempt food and agricultural commodities from those sanctions. Pakistan is an important market for U.S. agricultural products, ranking third in purchases of U.S. wheat.

1998 Ron Paul 61:6
Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Pat Roberts (RKan.), Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have also asked Clinton to exclude agricultural exports from the sanctions.

1998 Ron Paul 61:7
Warfield, a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors, told the panel that when sanctions are imposed, agriculture typically bears the brunt through lost sales and gains a reputation as an unreliable supplier. While American agriculture loses through sanctions and embargoes, its toughest competitors win by picking up those markets.

1998 Ron Paul 61:8
Warfield noted that when the United States placed a grain embargo against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, American farmers lost $2.3 billion in farm exports. He said the effects continue to be felt.

1998 Ron Paul 61:9
“When the United States cut off sales of wheat to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, other suppliers — France, Canada, Australia and Argentina — stepped in,” Warfield said. “They expanded their sales to the Soviet Union, ensuring that U.S. sanctions had virtually no economic impact. Russia still appears to restrict purchases of American wheat, fearing the United States may again use food exports as a foreign policy weapon.” Just the threat of sanctions can provoke trading partners into a retaliatory stance and threaten U.S. agricultural exports, the farm leader pointed out.

1998 Ron Paul 61:10
Warfield said Farm Bureau supports a bill (H.R. 3654) by Re. Tom Ewing (R-Ill.) that would prevent selective agricultural embargoes. The legislation, he said, would prevent useless embargoes that destroy American export markets while creating opportunities for other countries. Warfield said engagement with other nations, not sanctions and embargoes, should be the preferred option.

1998 Ron Paul 61:11
“The United States, as the leader in world trade, has an unprecedented opportunity to promote its values throughout the world by peaceful engagement through trade,” Warfield said, “Reaching out through engagement and trade, not withdrawing behind embargoes, is the best way to achieve positive change — not by denying ourselves access to the markets and creating opportunities for our competitors.”


1998 Ron Paul Chapter 61
The text of this chapter was inserted into the section of Congressional Record entitled “Extensions of Remarks” and was not spoken on the House floor.

1998 Ron Paul 61:2
American Farmers and Ranchers probably should have been uncapitalized: American farmers and ranchers.

1998 Ron Paul 61:3
agriculturally-based probably should have been agriculturally based.

1998 Ron Paul 61:12
Re. Tom Ewing probably should have been Rep. Tom Ewing, i.e. The Honorable Thomas W. Ewing.

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