Treasury’s Adeyemo Talks to Trump Officials for Sanctions Review
(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with the top sanctions officials from the Trump administration on Tuesday as part of a broad review of how the U.S. imposes restrictions to protect national security interests.
Adeyemo hosted a virtual meeting with Sigal Mandelker, a former undersecretary for Treasury’s Terrorism and Financial Intelligence unit, and Stephen Biegun, who was previously deputy secretary of state, both of who served during the Trump administration.
A Treasury spokeswoman said that the meeting also included ex-Obama official Cathy Novelli, who was previously head of global government affairs for Apple Inc., and Ted Kassinger from George W. Bush’s administration.
Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. imposed a wide range of sanctions on companies at a record pace of roughly 1,000 a year on individuals and even oil tankers tied to Iran, North Korea, China, Venezuela and Russia -- often unilaterally.
The moves triggered concern from experts about the deterioration of the nation’s ability to impose economic and financial sanctions that forced both friends and foes of the U.S. to find ways to work around the dollar to avoid the restrictions.
Adeyemo began an evaluation of the Treasury Department’s sanctions operations earlier this year to look at all current programs, staffing and budgets. It is expected to be complete in the coming months, according to an agency spokeswoman.
Related: Banks Seek ’s Aid After Trump’s 1,000-Sanctions-a-Year Pace
Adeyemo has spoken with more than half a dozen private sector representatives, foreign counterparts and lawmakers about the U.S.’s sanctions capabilities.
“U.S. economic and financial sanctions are not an end to themselves, but are most effective when employed in the context of a broader U.S. government strategy to address a foreign policy or national security threat, and to maintain the integrity of the U.S. financial system,” Treasury said in a readout of Tuesday’s meeting.
The group also talked about the “need to effectively calibrate sanctions to limit the unintended consequences on U.S. businesses, foreign partners, and other third parties -- including entities engaged in legitimate humanitarian activities.”
Adeyemo has solicited recommendations to address unanticipated challenges created by sanctions in virtual meetings with some of the financial services industry’s largest lobbying groups, including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Bank Policy Institute and the American Bankers Association.
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