Issues & Insights Op-Ed: Russian Sanctions Bill Hurts U.S. Small Businesses, Not Vladimir Putin

The story of successful entrepreneurs who become business legends at home and abroad is uniquely American — from Nike founder Phil Knight who initially sold shoes out of his car to Jeff Bezos who launched Amazon in his garage. Knight’s shoes and Bezos’ books grew into iconic brands, two of the many Fortune 500 companies that started with “next to nothing.”

Many millions of entrepreneurs and small businesses have yet to attain global brand recognition, and most will not. Even so, these hard-working business owners and their employees collectively drive U.S. economic growth and innovation. Small businesses truly are the lifeblood of our economy. They provide quality jobs and critical services in every corner of the nation. And they play a vital role as suppliers to the thousands of larger companies they do business with.

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ICYMI: Former Top Pentagon Official Says DASKA is ‘Riddled with Flaws,’ Unfairly Targets American Companies

Congress has yet to fix DASKA, and the Project on Effective Sanctions calls your attention to expert commentary that describes the bill’s widespread problems. In a candid article for InsideSources, former top Pentagon official and Heritage Foundation defense fellow Steve Bucci writes that the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) is “deeply flawed.” By imposing mandatory sanctions on crude oil development in Russia and on new investments in energy projects outside of Russia, the legislation “will deal a direct blow to U.S. companies in  the energy sector.” That’s not all – Bucci documents how DASKA will also harm U.S. companies in the aerospace, agribusiness and financial sectors doing business in Russia. The impact to aerospace alone, he writes, “could be severely damaging.” Bucci concludes on a more positive note, “fortunately, it’s not too late for a fix.”… Read More

Trump Considers Sanctions on Russian Firm, Reinforcing that DASKA is Too Broad, Must be Fixed

In a welcome development, we learned this week that the Trump administration is considering imposing sanctions on Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company.

On the surface, this seems unrelated to DASKA. According to Politico, it’s about cutting off Rosneft’s support for Venezuelan President Nicholás Maduro’s regime.

But at the Project on Effective Sanctions, we would argue that the news is highly relevant to our efforts to convince Congress to fix DASKA.

Since Rosneft is run by a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, sanctioning that specific company strikes us as the right approach to countering Russia’s bad behavior: target individual bad actors.

The DASKA approach is far too broad. It would enrich Russian interests, and would target U.S. companies instead of the Kremlin. Please join us in encouraging Congress to fix DASKA now!… Read More

SBE Council Weighs in on Sanctions: New Project Promotes Effective Sanctions on Russia, Encourages Congress to Sanction Putin, Not U.S. Companies


Washington, D.C. – As part of its growth through global markets agenda, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) today launched a new project,, in an effort to encourage Congress to fix the flawed Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, or DASKA.

Approved by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late 2019, DASKA would impose broad new sanctions on Russia. While the legislation has the very best intentions and sanctions are justified, how they are imposed through DASKA would serve to undermine U.S. economic security by punishing U.S. companies instead of Putin. If allowed to become law, DASKA would force many of the nearly 3,000 U.S. companies doing business in Russia to exit joint ventures with Russian firms in Russia or worldwide, or even shutter operations in the country. That would disrupt … Read More


The Issue: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late 2019 approved legislation that would impose new sanctions on Russia. Known as the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, or DASKA, the measure targets Russian banks, its sovereign debt and the country’s oil and gas sector. Like many government initiatives, it was passed with the best of intentions: punishing Russia for election interference, aggression toward Ukraine and other bad behavior. But good intensions sometimes lead to unintended, even grave consequences. This is one of those times.

And, it is often small businesses that are disproportionately impacted by actions that lead to unintended consequences. In the global marketplace, small and mid-size businesses account for 97.5% of U.S. exporting firms, and millions of small firms make up the critical supply chain of larger companies whose global footprint drives innovation, jobs and … Read More

FACT SHEET: DASKA targets U.S. companies, not the Kremlin

DASKA: The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) is a Russia sanctions bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It attempts to punish Russia for election interference and other bad behavior. Yet DASKA actually cracks down on the hundreds of U.S. companies that do business in Russia.

This crack down will also impact thousands of U.S. small business suppliers to key industries, like aerospace, agri-business, consumer goods and energy. These small and mid-size businesses are the heart and soul of many communities whose presence and jobs are critical to the vibrancy and health of local markets.

DASKA inadvertently harms U.S. companies instead of Russia. Congress must ACT NOW to fix DASKA so it punishes Putin, not U.S. businesses.

Unfortunately, despite good intentions, the legislation would cause serious unintended consequences for U.S. businesses. Some proponents have … Read More