Posted by on November 03, 2011 in Blog

Yesterday, we wrote about how the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO could impoverish millions around the globe. But the law that forces Congress to cut funding from all U.N. agencies that recognize Palestine is also doing grave damage here at home – to our businesses and our economy.

UNESCO provides new markets for growing American companies, bringing in additional millions every year to help bolster our struggling economy. Even Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Tom Cole (R-OK), who circulated a letter to Secretary Clinton in support of defunding UNESCO, recognized that “UNESCO… supports American businesses.”

Admittance to UNESCO also confers membership to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is tasked with “the protection of intellectual property throughout the world." WIPO handles most international intellectual property disputes, a common aspect of modern tech companies operating on a global scale, and their work is essential for the successful operation of our largest and most successful tech companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and countless others. They’re also essential for multi-billion dollar film, television, and drug industries, which similarly rely on the proper implementation of international copyrights. Just last year, dozens of American companies brought cases before WIPO – a privilege they will soon lose.

And WIPO is not the only agency that grants automatic membership to UNESCO members. As the law stands, the U.S. will also have to defund the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), both of which are instrumental in protecting American business interests overseas.

By withdrawing from UNESCO simply because Palestine was admitted as a member, Congress has seriously jeopardized American economic interests when we can hardly afford to lose more jobs. At a time of record deficits and economic stagnation, how can Congress willingly hurt American businesses, to simply take an ineffective and counterproductive stand with Israel?

This is unacceptable and dangerous. Tell your representatives that they should be putting jobs first, starting with a repeal of the law that prevents Congress from funding any U.N. agency that recognizes Palestine.



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