Call to Action in Support of U.S. Business Opportunity in Russia:
The impact of events of 2014 in U.S.-Russian relations are effectively
extracting a disproportionate tax on good U.S. businesses engaged in
legitimate business in and with Russia. Council for U.S.-Russia Relations is
hearing from members uniformly that their 2014 sales in Russia are down and
that they are revising downward projections for business in 2015. U.S.
businesses are losing sales opportunities in Russia as a cost of U.S.
foreign policy. The U.S. economic disengagement with Russia manifested in
part by U.S. and western sanctions and subsequent Russian counter sanction
measures disproportionately impacts a relatively small number of U.S.
companies. The actual costs in lost U.S. business opportunities in Russia
are poorly understood but the effective "tax" on the companies impacted is
Western sanctions (and Russian counter sanction measures) and the general
downturn in U.S.-Russian relations have cast broad market uncertainty on
transactions between U.S. and Russian companies. The market is being
affected broadly well beyond the letter of sanctions. U.S. companies losing
commercial opportunity with Russia is hurting U.S. businesses and export
sales. While Russia's economy is being hurt, Russian companies will acquire
the goods and services they need. The result of the sanctions and their
broader market impacts is that U.S. companies may lose opportunity in
Russia. The Presidential Administration, members of Congress, and Russia
desk staff at the U.S. State Department, Department of Commerce and the
National Security Council appear to consider commercial re-engagement with
Russia as "rewarding" or "benefiting" Russia. Accordingly, commercial
cooperation re-engagement with Russia is being held up pending some degree
of resolution of the dispute in Eastern Ukraine. This reflects a general
misunderstanding. U.S. commerce with Russia, the fifth largest global
economy in 2013, is foremost of benefit to U.S. companies through export
sales and job creation opportunity.
Indirect interference in U.S. economic opportunity in Russia as fallout of
U.S. and international foreign policy influence on the Russian Federation is
placing a disproportional financial burden on U.S. companies working with
Russia. Council for U.S.-Russia Relations is asking the U.S. government
recognize the disproportionate costs borne by these U.S. companies in lost
business opportunities in Russia and consider alternative approaches of
influence with the Russian Federation to economic measures, and that these
alternative measures not extract opportunity costs on U.S. companies engaged
in legitimate business transactions with non-sanctioned Russian
counterparts. Using the commercial opportunity of a limited number of U.S.
companies as a foreign policy lever is extracting an unfair and unintended
tax on these businesses.
Council for U.S.-Russia Relations is sharing this message with the
Administration, Departments of Commerce and State, the National Security
Council and members of Congress, and we encourage you to please write your
Congress member and Senator with this same or similar message. They are
otherwise not aware of the implications of the current policy and need to
hear from us all.
Requesting your support:
As 2014 comes to a close, Council for U.S.-Russia Relations hopes you can
include us in your annual giving this year. We are facing difficult times in
the fundraising environment and we truly need your personal support. There
is lots of work to be done in getting our bilateral relations back on track
and your support this year is essential. Please support Council for
U.S.-Russia Relations, a 501-C-3, with your tax deductible contribution in
any amount you choose. All contributions are greatly appreciated. For return
receipt purposes, please include your email or address along with your
check. For information on Council for U.S.-Russia Relations please see: