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Syria Accountability Act: Last-Minute Changes Make Impact on U.S.-Syria Trade and Investment Uncertain

December 26, 2003

By Behnam Dayanim and Patrick Togni

The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, at first blush, signals a further worsening of trade relations and economic ties between the United States and Syria. Passed by an overwhelming margin in Congress late last month with the support of the president, the Act directs the president to impose a range of economic sanctions on Syria. However, eleventh-hour changes to the bill create wide latitude for the president to waive the Act’s restrictions and render its real impact on U.S.-Syria trade uncertain.

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