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OPINION: US Business Groups’ Ad Campaign to Push Obama to Abandon Russia Sanctions

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A newspaper ad by the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers opposing US sanctions against Russia will influence the Obama administration to abandon the strategy, believes Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

WASHINGTON, June 26 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - A newspaper ad by the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers opposing US sanctions against Russia will influence the Obama administration to abandon the strategy, believes Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“Washington is going to abandon its idea of sanctions; it’s just a question of when. I think this ad will push them in this direction,” Weisbrot said.

“This move shows what we knew for a while; that there is serious opposition to US economic sanctions against Russia. It’s just more public and aggressive now. The businesses opposing the sanctions have gotten more organized, and managed to come up with a statement that is likely to be influential,” Weisbrot said.

The expert added that the US Chamber of Commerce is very powerful and they have huge influence on foreign commercial policy in the US. Although the National Association of Manufacturers is not made up of the biggest corporations like the Chamber of Commerce is, it is also very influential.

“If they say publicly that they are against this, I would be surprised if the administration doesn’t listen to them. The Obama administration is going to have to take both of them into account. I don’t know how stubborn the administration will be but eventually they will have to abandon this strategy,” Weisbrot asserted.

The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have prepared a newspaper ad stating that potential sanctions against the Russian energy, defense and financial sectors will harm US businesses and workers. The warning adverts are to be published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post on Thursday.

Earlier, the US imposed sanctions on a number of Russian officials and companies following the country’s reunification with Crimea, a former republic within Ukraine that held a referendum on secession in March. Washington has also repeatedly threatened Moscow with tougher economic sanctions. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has labelled the measures counterproductive and warned of the boomerang effect they might have.

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