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U.S. Companies in Gulf Lose 40% Sales
Due To Boycott Campaigns

By Reda Hammad,
UAE correspondent
April 22 2002


ABU DHABI, April 22 (IslamOnline) – A U.S. report announced that the popular Arab campaign for boycotting American products has resulted in losses for U.S. companies reaching up to 40% during the last two months.

The report, issued by the U.S. National Council for U.S.-Arab relations, said that stores selling American consumer products such as cars, drinks and foodstuff in the Gulf have lost nearly 40% of their customers because of the campaigns, which were a direct result for the Unites state’s governments support for Israel and its obvious silence regarding the Israeli atrocities in the Palestinian territories.

The report, which was prepared by John Anthony, the council’s president, said that the campaigns were successful because of the religious sermons and civil student organizations which have asked the people to boycott American products and distributed lists which includes the names of these products through the internet and through short messages on cellular phones.

UAE daily newspaper Al Ittihad, published the report on Sunday, April 21, and said that some fast food companies have resorted to organization donation campaigns for the Palestinian people in order to maintain its customers. Some American automobile companies have also noticeably reduced the prices of their cars in order to maintain their share in the car market.

Meanwhile, the report said that US campaigns which claimed that the boycott will harm Arabs, especially those with franchise rights in the Gulf, have failed, adding that American business men themselves feel that these campaigns are wrong and misleading and only aim to lessen the negative effects of the boycott campaigns.

The business men also said that the American policy makers have ignored the harm that will affect the image of U.S. products in addition to children who will grow up in schools that teach them that consuming American products is wrong and goes against the teachings of Islam.

The report said that the McDonalds and KFC food chains are the most affected by the campaigns and quoted a manger of one of these stores saying that the boycott has not only reached Arabs but also foreigners.

The report said that the future of American interests in the Gulf is worrisome since it may reach other trade relations such as defense, trade, investment, technological cooperation and purchasing franchises, and warned against the increase in the threats if the United States decided to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, UAE nationals have asked for an end to the American presence in the Gulf and the reduction of all Gulf-American military cooperation deals.

Most UAE nationals interviewed by IslamOnline agreed that eliminating the presence of U.S. forces on Gulf land is difficult, but reducing the military deals will add a legitimacy to Gulf governments and will earn them the respect of Arabs.