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 financial markets, benefit our strategic adversaries and damage U.S. firms across a variety of vital sectors, including energy, aerospace and agribusiness, and the significant number of small business suppliers that power these sectors.

SBE Council is concerned about the potentially damaging toll that DASKA would exact on thousands of U.S. small businesses nationwide. Small businesses are the lifeblood the U.S. economy and are critical suppliers to large companies. Those businesses, often employing less than 20 people, fuel the supply chain that equips large corporations doing business across the globe, including Russia, in staggering numbers.

The Business Roundtable has found, for example, that the typical U.S. multinational company buys goods and services from more than 6,000 American small businesses – and spends more than $3 billion on those purchases. That means that any time DASKA sanctions force even a single U.S. firm out of the Russian market, the disruption to the supply chain would hurt hundreds of small businesses, potentially leading to layoffs and harsh impacts on local communities nationwide.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of the U.S. economy, vital drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship in America and around the world,’’ SBE President and CEO Karen Kerrigan said in a letter to members of the Foreign Relations Committee, sent on January 30. “While DASKA is well intentioned, the legislation as written would cause substantial harm to many thousands of small businesses that are a critically important part of the U.S. economy.”

Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a notorious bad actor who has interfered in elections, menaced his neighbors, and threatened our national security. The purpose of is not to question the need for sanctions against Russia. The project seeks to educate Congress about the unintended and harmful consequences of DASKA on U.S. businesses and advocate a fix to the legislation so it targets the bad actors and the Kremlin. Various solutions have been put forward that do just this, while allowing U.S. companies to continue to work to strengthen our economy. Fix DASKA now: Sanction Putin, not U.S. Companies!

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SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit @SBECouncil