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Lindsay Graham

DASKA IS WRONG FOR HORRY COUNTY

EDITORIAL

“We appreciate Senator Lindsay Graham’s work defending President Trump, however, we believe DASKA is just wrong for Horry County. “

At MyrtleBeachSC.com, we are firm believers in supporting the business community, especially our vital small businesses. Private businesses create jobs, help the economy and enrich society.

At the same time, we respect Senator Lindsey Graham and honor his distinguished service to our state.

It is with some regret, then, that we feel compelled to call out a piece of Senator Graham-supported legislation that is bad for South Carolina – and would harm our state’s economy and businesses.

Graham has praised the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, or DASKA, as the “sanctions bill from Hell.” Unfortunately, despite the Senator’s best intentions, that hell would actually be visited on U.S. companies.

Passed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late December, DASKA would impose new sanctions on Russia. It attempts to target Russian entities such as banks and the country’s oil and gas sector. What it would really does is punish U.S. businesses, not the Kremlin.

Including in South Carolina.
             

If passed by the full Senate, DASKA would force major U.S. companies to exit joint ventures with Russian firms or even leave the Russian market altogether. Their Russian partners would then take over the projects and would likely add other U.S. adversaries as new partners, such as Chinese firms.

That would hurt U.S. businesses and enrich Russia – the opposite of what DASKA is supposed to do.

The negative effects would cascade down the corporate supply chain and harm many of the tens of thousands of small businesses nationwide that supply large firms with parts and materials.

For a microcosm of how DASKA would hurt South Carolina, look at Boeing. The aerospace giant is huge in Russia, where it has invested billions of dollars. LINK: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions-companies-factbo/factbox-u-s-companies-with-exposure-to-russia-idUSKBN1KU2L8?_sm_au_=iVVKS7TQKRsSRnS701TfKK3Qv3fc4

It is also very important in South Carolina. Boeing has invested more than $2 billion here in recent years, and now has South Carolina facilities that include a 787 Dreamliner assembly and delivery facility, along with a research and technology center. LINK: https://www.boeing.com/company/about-bca/south-carolina-production-facility.page?_sm_au_=iVVKS7TQKRsSRnS701TfKK3Qv3fc4

If Boeing is forced out of Russia, it could also drive out of  business many of the nearly 300 South Carolina firms among its venders and suppliers, part of the world’s largest supply chain.

That would be unfortunate news for the dynamic aerospace sector Boeing helped create in South Carolina, which now pours nearly $20 billion into the state’s economy each year. LINK: https://www.sccommerce.com/industries/aerospace-industry?_sm_au_=iVVKS7TQKRsSRnS701TfKK3Qv3fc4

That’s not the only key South Carolina industry that DASKA would harm. The legislation would inadvertently target agribusiness firms such as Cargill, which has a large, decades-long presence in Russia.

We don’t have to tell our loyal readers that agribusiness is a local treasure, widely considered “the true homegrown industry of South Carolina.” And the agribusiness sector includes none other than Cargill, which only a few years ago bought – and then expanded – a Columbia-based beef processing plant.

The agribusiness supply chain in South Carolina extends statewide, across every county. Surely, Senator Graham can see that some of those firms wound be hurt by DASKA-related dislocation.

Beyond those two vital South Carolina industries, DASKA would also significantly harm U.S. energy companies that employ thousands of Americans, drive economic growth and help to ensure our energy securityIndustry groups estimate that the legislation would force American companies to withdraw from nearly 150 energy projects that involve Russian firms in more than 50 countries.

The resulting harm to small U.S. businesses would affect small businesses in South Carolina and nationwide.

It is for all of these reasons that we support ongoing efforts to get Congress to fix DASKA – and ensure that these vital economic sectors and private businesses are protected. Senator Graham’s constituents should demand nothing less.

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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