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US companies trying to kill Iran bill

Major US firms are warning Congress against passing legislation to impose new sanctions against Iran, saying such sanctions will further damage the US economy.

Boeing Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are lobbying to fend off tightened sanctions against Iran that business groups say will cut US exports.

A current legislation before Congress would expand a 1996 law penalizing foreign companies that invest in Iran’s oil industry. US firms, already barred from investing Iran, say their sales worldwide could be hurt by provisions that ban doing business with companies in Europe, Russia or China that trade with Iran.

“We are up on Capitol Hill talking about the collateral damage,” William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a Washington-based group that represents Exxon and Boeing, said in an interview.

The US National Association of Manufacturers or NAM is also pitching some alarming findings.

The group says a new round of tougher sanctions on Iran could cost the US, $25 billion in exports.

NAM says it’s also likely that up to 20,000 workers are laid off each year, if Congress allows the legislation to become law.

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