HUMANITARIAN FOOD AND MEDICINE EXPORT ACT -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 07, 2005)
HON. RON PAUL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2005
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation that will remove current, and prohibit future, embargoes on the export of food, medicine, or medical devices. Embargoes on these items, as we have seen time and time again, do not have the desired policy effect on the targeted country. In fact, they only punish the innocent and most vulnerable people in these countries. Does anyone believe that denying the people of a foreign country food or medicine because of our quarrel with their leader will make them more sympathetic toward the United States? We are fond of talking about "humanitarian" treatment in foreign countries. But it is our policy of embargoing the export of food and medicine to certain countries that is most un-humanitarian. We need to practice what we preach.
Also, it is very important to remember the harm we do to our own citizens when we deny them the right to sell their products to whoever they like. It is not very humanitarian to deny our own citizens the right to their livelihood because our political leadership does not get along with the political leadership of another country.
Mr. Speaker, we do ourselves no favors in denying our citizens the right to export the essentials for life to citizens abroad. And we do no real harm to leaders abroad, who actually benefit by our sanction policies, as they provide a convenient scapegoat for their own economic failures. The fact is that trade promotes peace. Forcibly cutting off trade relations with another country promotes militarism and conflict.
I hope my colleagues will join me by co-sponsoring this legislation.