United States: U.S. Sanctions Developments In The Trump Administration

The Trump Administration has been active on the sanctions front as a means of asserting United States foreign policy and national security interests. Congress has also taken an increasingly active and direct role of late, beyond its typical deference to the executive branch.

BakerHostetler's International Trade team has been closely monitoring all U.S. sanctions developments, and is pleased to provide the following report on recent new and modified sanctions on Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Sudan and Venezuela.

Cuba

In July 2017, the Trump Administration announced the reinstatement of certain restrictions on U.S. travel and financial transactions with Cuba. Financial transactions involving Cuban military, intelligence and security service entities are prohibited. The Trump Administration also imposed a ban on individual people-to-people and educational travel to Cuba. The definition of the term "prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba" is being amended to include certain additional individuals. However, regulations enacted during the Obama Administration related to group travel, diplomatic relations, family visits and remittances remain in effect. On November 8, various U.S. federal agencies, including the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC"), the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS"), and the State Department, took steps to implement these regulatory changes, which formally took effect on November 9.

Iran

During the summer of 2017, the U.S. Congress took its own action to direct the Trump Administration to impose specific sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Syria by passing the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (commonly referred to as "the CAATS Act"), which President Trump signed into law on August 2. With respect to Iran, the CAATS Act directs the President to impose sanctions against (1) Iran's ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programs; (2) the sale or transfer to Iran of military equipment or the provision of related technical or financial assistance; and (3) Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated foreign persons. In addition, the President is authorized to impose sanctions against persons responsible for gross human rights violations against any individuals supporting internationally recognized human rights and freedoms or any persons exposing illegal activities of the Iranian Government. The President may temporarily waive the imposition or continuation of sanctions under specified circumstances.

North Korea

The CAATS Act, first noted above in connection with Iran sanctions, modifies and increases the President's authority to impose sanctions on persons in violation of certain United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. It prohibits U.S. financial institutions from establishing or maintaining correspondent accounts used by foreign financial institutions to provide indirect financial services to North Korea. A foreign government that provides to or receives from North Korea a defense article or service is prohibited from receiving certain types of U.S. foreign assistance. In addition, the Act provides sanctions against (1) North Korean cargo and shipping; (2) goods produced in whole or part by North Korean convict or forced labor; and (3) foreign persons that employ North Korean forced laborers.

Subsequently, on September 11, 2017, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution imposing new, tougher sanctions on North Korea that extend current U.N. sanctions and ban the sale of natural gas liquids to North Korea, exports of North Korean textile products and use of North Korea's overseas laborers. The measure also places caps on crude and refined oil exports to North Korea.

More recently, on September 20, President Trump issued Executive Order 13810, which establishes several new designation criteria for additional sanctions, including against persons who (1) operate in the North Korean construction, energy, financial services, fishing, information technology, manufacturing, medical, mining, textiles or transportation industries; (2) have engaged in a significant importation from or exportation to North Korea; (3) are a North Korean person; or (4) have materially assisted, sponsored or supported (including financially or technologically) any person whose property is blocked pursuant to the Executive Order. The Executive Order also (a) prohibits vessels and aircraft that have called or landed at a port or place in North Korea in the previous 180 days, and vessels that engaged in ship-to-ship transfer with such a vessel in the previous 180 days, from entering the United States; (b) provides authority to block any funds transiting accounts linked to North Korea that come within the United States or possession of a U.S. person; and (c) provides authority to impose sanctions on a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated, on or after the date of the Order, any significant transaction on behalf of certain blocked persons or any transaction in connection with trade with North Korea. OFAC issued General License 10 to provide for limited exceptions to the above prohibitions. Subsequently, on September 26, October 26 and November 21, OFAC issued sanctions against a variety of North Korean banks and individuals.

Russia

On September 29, 2017, in order to implement the CAATS Act first noted above in connection with Iran sanctions, OFAC amended Directives 1 and 2 of the U.S. sectoral sanctions against Russia, effective November 28, to bar U.S. persons from transacting in debt of over 14 days' maturity of designated Russian financial services firms or over 60 days' maturity of designated Russian energy firms, respectively. Similarly, on October 31, OFAC expanded the scope of Directive 4 of the U.S. sectoral sanctions against Russia so that the provision, export or reexport, by a U.S. person or within the United States, directly or indirectly, of goods, services (except for financial services) or technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale projects is prohibited for projects initiated on or after January 29, 2018, that have the potential to produce oil in any location in which any person designated under Directive 4 has a 33 percent or greater ownership interest or ownership of a majority of the voting interests. In addition, the CAATS Act provides for potential sanctions against persons determined to meet specified criteria, including those operating in the railway or metals/mining sector in Russia, those engaging in activities undermining cybersecurity efforts, and those investing in Russian crude oil or energy export pipelines. The imposition of such sanctions will require additional action by OFAC.

Sudan

Effective October 12, 2017, OFAC lifted its remaining economic sanctions against Sudan in response to Sudan's human rights improvements and progress related to counterterrorism. Although this action effectively suspends the U.S. trade embargo against Sudan, unfreezes Sudanese assets, and removes all financial restrictions against Sudan, it does not terminate the national emergency with respect to Sudan and does not affect any sanctions related to the conflict in Darfur. OFAC designations of Sudanese persons on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons ("SDN") List are also unaffected. U.S. and non-U.S. persons are required to obtain licenses from BIS in order to export or reexport U.S.-origin items identified on the U.S. Commerce Control List, but may use newly-issued General License A to export and reexport agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Sudan.

Venezuela

In August 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13808, which imposes sanctions on Venezuela in response to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's increasingly authoritarian regime. The new sanctions are aimed at restricting the Maduro regime's access to financial markets and capital, subject to certain limitations intended to reduce the impact on U.S. businesses and the Venezuelan people. The Executive Order prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., as well as in some existing bonds owned by the public sector. The order also bans the payment of dividends and other distribution of profits to the Venezuelan government by entities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government. OFAC published new general licenses that authorize certain transactions that would otherwise be prohibited under the President's Executive Order. These general licenses authorize (1) certain transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to wind down contracts or other agreements in effect prior to August 25; (2) certain transactions involving CITGO Holdings, Inc., the Venezuelan-owned U.S. petroleum company; (3) dealings in certain bonds; and (4) new debt transactions related to the export or reexport from the U.S. or by a U.S. person, wherever located, of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices, or replacement parts and components for medical devices.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions