Congress takes deeper look at enforcing sanctions

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) – Members of the House Foreign Affair Committee met Wednesday to discuss the enforcement of United States sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions safeguarding the U.S. against foreign countries, regimes, terrorists and other entities engaged in malicious activity.

The hearing focused primarily on sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran. Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R- Calif., said that the committee would use Wednesday’s hearing to explore if sanctions enacted by Congress have been fully implemented to the best of their ability.

“We’ve used America’s economic might to help stop terrorists, counter Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, and respond to Russian aggression and the degradation of democracy in Venezuela,” Royce said. “No matter how tough the language of our sanctions bills, they are only as strong as their enforcement. That’s why we must work together to ensure the Executive Branch not only has the political will, but also the growing resources and expertise needed to implement strong sanctions.”

The chairman brought to the committee’s attention the fast-approaching deadline for the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The legislation imposed sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran. Royce said the committee expects key elements of the act to be met by the end of January 2018.

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