Economic Sanctions

Economic Sanctions in the United States

Contents:

List of Economic Sanctions Laws by Topic

This section offers information about where sanctions policies and options currently may be found in U.S. current legislation:

General U.S. national security or foreign policy objectives

  • § 621, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2381) (authorizes President to administer foreign assistance programs and policy; authorizes the President to prohibit foreign assistance because of illegal activities, such as fraud or corruption).
  • § 633A, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2393a) (prohibits foreign assistance when certain informational requests are not met by recipient).
  • § 3, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2753) (authorizes President to administer U.S. government arms sales and transfers with conditions and exceptions).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 38, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2778) (authorizes the President to limit sales and transfers in interest of world peace and security of United States. Violation of terms of section or related regulations may result in $1 million fine, 10-year imprisonment, or both).
  • § 42, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2791) (authorizes the President to cancel arms sales, credits, or contracts on national security grounds).
  • § 5(b), Trading with the Enemy Act (Public Law 65-91; 50 USC App. 5(b)) [19] (authorizes the President to investigate, regulate, or prohibit transactions, or to freeze assets).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • Title II, National Emergencies Act (Public Law 94-412; 50 USC 1621, 1622) (authorizes declaration and administration of national emergencies — required to administer authority under International Emergency Economic Powers Act).
  • § 203, International Emergency Economic Powers Act (Public Law 95-223; 50 USC 1701) (authorizes control or prohibition of most financial transactions).
  • § 1237, Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (public Law 105-261; 50 USC 1701 note) (authorizes the use of sec. 203 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act where an action involves “persons operating directly or indirectly in the United States…that are Communist Chinese military companies”).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 2(b)(5)(B), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(5)(B)) (restricts Export-Import Bank services with country engaged in armed conflict against U.S. armed forces).
  • § 5, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2404) (imposes national security export controls).
  • § 6, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405) (imposes foreign policy export controls).”

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 11, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2410) (imposes penalties for violations of Act, generally).
  • § 11A, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2410a) (prohibits contracts, importation for regulations violators).
  • § 233, Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-794; 19 USC 1864) (authorizes President to sanction importation for violations of sec. 5 Export Administration Act national security controls).”

U.S. trade policy legislation sometimes used for foreign policy objectives

  • § 125, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2135) (authorizes President to terminate or withdraw from trade agreements).
  • § 126, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2136) (authorizes President to terminate or withdraw from trade agreements where reciprocal nondiscriminatory treatment has not been upheld).
  • § 604, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2483) (authorizes President to change the Harmonized Tariff Schedules).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 212(b)(4), (5), Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 98-67; 19 USC 2702(b)(4), (5)) (denies beneficiary country status).
  • § 232, Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-794; 19 USC 1862) (authorizes President to set duties or import restrictions based on national security issues).” “§ 620(d), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370(d)) (prohibits foreign assistance loans).
  • §8038, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-262; 41 USC 10b-2) (requires the Secretary of Defense to rescind waiver of Buy American Act when a country violates defense procurement agreements in discriminating against American products).

Extradition

§ 212(b)(6) Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 98-67; 19 USC 2702(b)(6)) (denies beneficiary country status).

Proliferation, generally

  • § 620(s), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370(s)) (conditions foreign assistance and loans).
  • § 3(f), Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2753(f)) (prohibits sales or leases to nuclear explosive device proliferators).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 38, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2778) (establishes penalty for violating U.S. import/export terms for defense articles and services).
  • § 6(k), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405(k)) (restricts exportation).
  • § 1211, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-85) (restricts exportation of high performance computers).

Missile proliferation

  • §§ 72, 73, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2797a, 2797b) (restricts contracts, denies, export licenses, may deny importation).
  • § 6(l), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405(l)) (restricts exportation).
  • § 11B, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2410b) (restricts contracts, denies export licenses, may deny importation).

Nuclear proliferation

  • § 307, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2227)
  • Note: this piece of legislation prohibits use of U.S. foreign assistance paid in as U.S. proportionate share to international organizations when those organizations run programs in Burma, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Iran, Cuba, or with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Further prohibits funding for International Atomic Energy Agency participation in certain projects in Cuba.

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • §§ 101, 102, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2799aa, 2799aa-1) (prohibits foreign or military assistance).
  • § 701(b), International Financial Institutions Act (Public Law 95-118; 22 USC 262d(b)) (opposes international financial institution support).
  • § 2(b)(1)(B), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(1)(B)) (denies Bank support where President determines in U.S. national interests related to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, environmental protection, human rights).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 2(b)(4), 2(b)(5)(C) Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(4)) (prohibits Export-Import Bank support).
  • § 5(b), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2404) (restricts exports for national security reasons).
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States, title I, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-150) (prohibits Export- Import Bank funding to other than non-nuclear weapon state, if that state detonates a nuclear explosive after enactment of this Act (October 21, 1998)).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 129, Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (Public Law 83-703; 42 USC 2158) (prohibits transfer of nuclear materials, equipment, related technology).
  • § 304(b), Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-242; 42 USC 2155a) (authorizes Department of Commerce to regulate exports significant to nuclear explosion purposes).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 402, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-242; 42 USC 2153a) (prohibits exports related to nuclear enrichment).
  • § 821, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-236; 22 USC 3201 note) (prohibits contracts with individuals).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 823, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-236; 22 USC 3201 note) (opposes international financial institution support).
  • § 824, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-236; 22 USC 3201 note) (prohibits financial institutions from financing certain transactions).
  • § 620G, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2378a) (prohibits foreign assistance for most sales of antitank shells containing depleted uranium penetrating component).

Chemical/Biological weapons proliferation

  • § 81, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2798) (requires import and U.S. government procurement sanctions against CW/BW proliferators).
  • § 6(m), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405(m)) (restricts exportation).
  • § 11C, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2410c) (requires import and U.S. government procurement sanctions against CW/BW proliferators).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 307, Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-182; 22 USC 5605) (terminates most foreign assistance, arms sales, certain exports; may restrict international financial institution support, U.S. bank support, exports, imports, diplomatic relations, aviation access to United States).
  • Chapter 11B, 18 USC (added by § 201, Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998) (states penalties for those who “develop, produce, or otherwise acquire, transfer directly or indirectly, receive, stockpile, retain, own, possess, or use or threaten to use, any chemical weapon…”).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 2332c, 18 USC (added by § 521, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) (makes use of chemical weapon in certain instances a criminal offense).
  • §103, Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998 (division I of Public Law 105-277; 22 USC 6713) (establishes civil liability for violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, states terms of sanctions against foreign persons, foreign governments for such violations).

Communism (Marxist-Leninist countries)

  • § 620(f), (h), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370(f), (h)) (prohibits foreign assistance).
  • § 2(b)(2), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(2)) (prohibits Export-Import Bank transactions with Marxist- Leninist state).
  • § 502(b)(1), Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462) (denies beneficiary developing country status).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 5(b), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2404) (authorizes the President to restrict exportation to Communist states, to states with policies “”adverse to the national security interests of the United States””).
  • § 43, Bretton Woods Agreements Act (Public Law 79-171; 22 USC 286aa) (opposes international financial institution support).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

§ 212(b)(1), Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 98-67; 19 USC 2702(b)(1)) (denies beneficiary country status).

Coercive family planning programs (including abortion and involuntary sterilization)

  • § 104(f), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (prohibits development assistance from being made available for coercive family planning programs).
  • Development Assistance, title II, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-153) (prohibits development assistance from being made available for coercive family planning programs).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 518, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277, 112 Stat. 2681-176)
  • This piece of legislation prohibits development assistance from being made available for coercive family planning programs or for lobbying for or against abortion).

Human rights

  • § 116, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2151n) (prohibits most U.S. foreign economic assistance to any country the government of which engages in a “”consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights””)
  • § 502B, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2304) (prohibits most U.S. security assistance to any country the government of which engages in a “”consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights””).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 239(i), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2199(i)) (requires Overseas Private Investment Corporation to consider human rights when conducting programs).
  • § 660, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2420) (prohibits funds for police training).
  • § 701(a), (b), (f) International Financial Institutions Act (Public Law 95-118; 22 USC 262d) (opposes bank loans).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 568, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-194) (“Leahy amendment;” prohibits foreign assistance to security forces of any foreign country if Secretary of state “”has credible evidence that such unit has committed gross violations of human rights””).
  • § 579, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997 (§ 101(c) of title I of Public Law 104-208; 22 USC 262k-2) (opposes most international financial institution transactions for any country with a custom of female genital mutilation that has not taken steps to improve education to prevent such practices).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 2(b)(1)(B), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(1)(B)) (denies Bank support where President determines in U.S. national interests related to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, environmental protection, human rights, child labor).
  • § 8130, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-262; 112 Stat. 2335) (prohibits funding to support any training of a foreign country’s security forces if a member of that security force unit “has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless all necessary corrective steps have been taken”).

Religious freedom

Title IV, International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292; 22 USC 6441 et seq.) (§405, in particular, authorizes the President to use a wide range of diplomatic and economic restrictions).

Worker rights

  • § 231A, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2191a) (limits Overseas Private Investment Corporation activities).
  • §§ 502(b)(7), (c)(7), 504, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462, 2464) (authorizes the President to take into account country’s worker rights record when considering beneficiary developing country status).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 212(b)(7) Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 98-67; 19 USC 2702(b)(7)) (denies beneficiary country status).
  • § 538, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-182) (prohibits foreign assistance to projects that contribute to the violation of internationally recognized worker rights as defined in § 502(a)(4) of the Trade Act of 1974).

Use of forced/prison/convict labor

§ 307, Tariff Act of 1930 (Public Law 71-361; 19 USC 1307) (prohibits importation of goods produced or manufactured with prison labor)

Environmental degradation

  • § 118, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2151p-1) (denies foreign assistance related to deforestation).
  • § 2(b)(1)(B), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(1)(B)) (denies Export-Import Bank support where President determines in U.S. national interests related to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, environmental protection, human rights).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 533, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1991 (Public Law 101-513; 22 USC 262l) (requires U.S. Executive Directors of multilateral development banks to promote global climate change programs—includes voting against or abstaining on loans).
  • § 609(b), Sea Turtle Conservation provisions (Public Law 101-162; 16 USC 1537 note) (bans importation of shrimp and shrimp products the harvest of which adversely affects sea turtle populations, unless President determines that government of harvester documents regulatory programs and sea turtle population security).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 901, Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (Public Law 101-627; 16 USC 1835) (authorizes punitive measure against those found to have mislabeled tuna products for distribution in the United States).
  • § 7, Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1997 (Public Law 103-391; 16 USC 5305a) (prohibits sale, importation, exportation of rhinoceros or tiger products; imposes criminal and civil penalties).

Military coups d’état

§ 508, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-171) (prohibits foreign assistance).

Debt arrearages, default

  • § 620(c), (q) Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370) (prohibits or suspends foreign assistance; for FY1999, not applicable for Nicaragua, Brazil, and Liberia, and for narcotics-related assistance for FY1999, not applicable for Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru).
  • § 512, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-172) (prohibits foreign assistance; for FY1999, not applicable for Nicaragua , Brazil, and Liberia, and for narcotics-related assistance for FY1999, not applicable for Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru).”

Terrorism

  • § 620A, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2371) (prohibits foreign assistance).
  • § 620G, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2377) (prohibits foreign assistance).
  • § 620H, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2378) (prohibits foreign assistance).”

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 40, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2780) (prohibits sale, transfer, lease, loan, grant, credit, foreign assistance associated with munitions items to terrorist states).
  • § 40A, Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-629; 22 USC 2781) (prohibits sale or license for export of defense articles or defense services to country determined by President, in a fiscal year, to be not cooperating with U.S. antiterrorism efforts).
  • § 505, International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-83; 22USC2349aa-9) (authorizes the President to ban importation of goods and services from state found to support international terrorism).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 701(a)(2), (f), International Financial Institutions Act (Public Law 95-118; 22 USC 262d(a)(2), (f)) (opposes international financial institution loans to those offering refuge to skyjackers).
    § 1621, International Financial Institutions Act (Public Law 95-118; 22 USC 262p-4q) (opposes International financial institution loans to terrorist states).
  • § 6, Bretton Woods Agreements Act Amendments, 1978 (Public Law 95-435; 22 USC 286e-11) (requires opposition to International Monetary Fund assistance).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 502(b)(2)(F), Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462) (withholding of beneficiary developing country designation).
  • § 6(j), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405(j)) (“”Fenwick amendment,”” requires export licenses).
  • § 528, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 ((sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-178) (prohibits bilateral foreign assistance).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 551, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-187) (prohibits foreign assistance to any country providing lethal military equipment to a terrorist state).
  • § 2332b, 18 USC (added by §702, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) (makes terrorist acts that transcend national boundaries a criminal offense).
  • § 2332d, 18 USC (added by § 321, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) (makes financial transactions with a terrorist state a criminal offense).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 2339A, 18 USC (added by § 323, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) (makes providing material support to a terrorist or terrorist state a criminal offense).
    § 2339B, 18 USC (added by § 303, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996) (makes providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations a criminal offense).
  • § 2(b)(1)(B), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(1)(B)) (denies Bank support where President determines in U.S. national interests related to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, environmental protection, human rights).

United Nations or other international organization participation

  • § 307, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2227) (prohibits use of U.S. foreign assistance paid in as U.S. proportionate share to international organizations when those organizations run programs in Burma, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Iran, Cuba, or with the Palestine Liberation Organization, “or, at the discretion of the President, Communist countries listed at sec. 620(f) of this Act”. Further prohibits funding for International Atomic Energy Agency participation in certain projects in Cuba).
  • § 620(u), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370(u)) (conditions foreign assistance on arrearage of UN dues).
  • § 5, United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-264; 22 USC 287c) (restricts economic and communications relations).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • Title IV, International Organizations and Programs, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-169) (prohibits IO&P foreign assistance for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Korean Peninsula energy Development Organization(KEDO), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • § 535, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-181) (prohibits foreign assistance and transactions under the Arms Export Control Act to any country not in compliance with U.N. sanctions against Iraq).
  • § 574, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-198) (reduces foreign assistance to any country not in compliance with U.N. sanctions imposed against Libya).”

Emigration

§ 402, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2432) (“Jackson-Vanik amendment,” restricts commercial agreements, denies most-favored-nation status).

Diplomatic relations (including action taken when severed)

§ 620(t), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370(u)) (prohibits foreign assistance and assistance under Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954).

Drugs (international narcotics control)

  • § 486, 487, 490, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2291e, 2291f, 2291j) (restricts foreign assistance, narcotics control assistance).
  • § 13, International Development Association Act (Public Law 86-565; 22 USC 284k) (opposes international financial institution support).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 802, Narcotics Control Trade Act (title VIII of Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2492) (denies preferential tariff treatment, imposes importation duty, curtails air traffic between country and United States, reduces U.S. customs staff).
  • § 803, Narcotics Control Trade Act (title VIII of Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2493) (restricts sugar quota).

Missing in action

  • § 701(b)(4), International Financial Institutions Act (Public Law 95-118; 22 USC 262d(b)(4)) (requires U.S. executive directors to international financial institutions to consider MIA issue when voting on international financial institution loans to Vietnam, Laos, Russia, independent states of former Soviet Union, and Cambodia).
  • § 403, Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2433). (authorizes the President to deny nondiscriminatory trade treatment, trade-related credits and investment guarantees, or commercial agreements to countries not cooperating with U.S. efforts to account fully for MIA in Southeast Asia).

Armed conflict (engaging against U.S. Armed Forces)

§ 2(b)(5), Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (Public Law 79-173; 12 USC 635(b)(5)) (prohibits Export-Import Bank credits).

World economy disruption, vital commodities disruption

  • § 502(b)(2), (b)(3), (e)(2), Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462) (para. (2) in part, is specifically directed at Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)).
    § 502(b)(5), Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462) (conditions beneficiary developing country designation).
  • § 7, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2406) (restricts exports relating to short supply).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 8, Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2407) (prohibits cooperating with foreign boycotts).
  • § 513, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-172) (prohibits direct assistance, Export-Import Bank support, Overseas Private Investment Corporation funding, where commodity might disrupt world market).
  • § 514, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-173) (requires the Secretary of the Treasury to advise U.S. Executive Directors of international financial institutions to oppose loans where funds would be used for production or extraction of any commodity or mineral for export where commodity or mineral is in world surplus supply and its production would cause substantial injury to U.S. producers).

Parking fines

§ 552, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1999 (sec. 101(d) of division A of Public Law 105- 277; 112 Stat. 2681-187) (withholds portion of foreign assistance from nations whose agents or representatives in the United States are cited as parking scofflaws).

Humanitarian assistance disruption

§ 620I, Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2379) (prohibits foreign assistance).

Expropriation, confiscation, nationalization, mob action, or other seizure of or threat to property

  • § 620(a), (g), (j), (l), (o), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22 USC 2370) (prohibits foreign assistance).
  • § 620(e), Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-195; 22USC 2370(e)) (suspends foreign assistance).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 12, International Development Association Act (Public Law 86-565; 22 USC 284j) (opposes international financial institution support).
  • § 502(b)(4), Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618; 19 USC 2462) (denies beneficiary developing country designation).

Other U.S. Legislation on Sanctions related with the Topic

  • § 212(b)(2), (3), Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (Public Law 98-67; 19 USC 2702(b)(2), (3)) (denies beneficiary country designation).
  • § 2225, Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1998 and 1999 (title XX of subdivision B of division G of Public Law 105-277; 8 USC 1182d) (authorizes the Secretary of State to deny issuance of a visa to an alien trafficking in property confiscated or expropriated from any U.S. national).

Crime Control

§ 6(n), Export Administration Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-72; 50 USC App. 2405(n)) (restricts exports).

Sanctions against Iran

Note: for more information, click here.

Sanctions that the United States imposed against Iran: US sanctions by Category (with the legal authority):

  • Ban on US trade and investment: Executive Order 12959 (1995)
  • Sanctions on foreign firms that do business with Iran’s energy sector or that provide it with refined petroleum products: Iran Sanctions Act (1996), CISASA (2010), and other laws and executive orders
  • Ban on foreign assistance: Prohibited under Foreign Assistance Act, §620A (1961)
  • Ban on arms exports: Ineligible under several laws
  • Restriction on exports of “dual-use items”: Export Administration Act, §6(j) (1979); Arms Export Control Act (1976)
  • Sanctions against international lending: International Financial Institutions Act, §1621 (1977)
  • Sanctions against foreign firms that sell WMD-related technology to Iran: Several laws and regulations
  • Ban on transactions with terrorism-supporting entities: Executive Order 13224 (2001)
  • Travel ban on certain named Iranians: CISADA (2010)
  • Restrictions on Iranian shipping: Executive Order 13382 (2005)
  • Banking sanctions: CISADA, Executive Orders, 13224 and 13382, FY2012 Defense Authorization Act

Anti-boycott Laws

Coercive Diplomacy and Trade Control Regulations

Find more information on Coercive Diplomacy and Trade Control Regulations in relation to the International Trade Control Law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in the legal Encyclopedias.

Economic Sanctions and the International Trade Law

Export Economic and Trade Sanctions

Find more information on Export Economic and Trade Sanctions in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Background in the History of U.S. Economic Sanctions Imposed against China

Following its interruption by World War II, when both sides fought the Japanese, the Chinese civil war continued until the communists were victorious in the fall of 1949. While the United States strongly supported the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek in the immediate post-World War II period, this support was considerably lessened by the time of the communist victory. The United States did not extend diplomatic recognition to the new government of the People's Republic of China. In June 1950, the North Korean army invaded South Korea; and in October 1950, large numbers of Chinese “volunteers” entered the Korean war to fight alongside the North Koreans.

U.S. relations with the People's Republic of China remained extremely hostile until July 1969, when the Nixon Administration began a gradual process of improvement [1]. In May 1973, a United States liaison office was established in Beijing [2]. On January 1, 1979, full-scale diplomatic relations were established with the People's Republic of China. Further improvements in United States-China relations followed in 1979 with a settlement on May 11 of financial claims and an agreement on trade relations on July 7 [3].

Some Observations

The next decade of United States-China relations was marked by increasing cooperation and trade. Political and economic reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping were welcomed and supported by the United States.

In April 1989, students in Beijing held peaceful demonstrations in Tiananmen Square calling for political liberalization and a dialogue with the leadership. By early May, the demonstrations had spread to other cities and the numbers enlarged by popular support. Having declared martial law on May 1, 1989, President Yang Shangkun ordered troops to Beijing to restore order and on June 3, People's Liberation Army troops were deployed in the Square under orders to regain the capital. In the course of the crackdown that ensued, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people were killed or wounded. Massive arrests, executions, and the summary imprisonment of demonstrators and sympathizers followed.

Developments

The lead-up to the events in Tiananmen Square and the violent aftermath of the peaceful demonstrations were given extensive coverage by the international press. Calls for United States sanctions against the hardline regime in Beijing and a review of United States policy were immediate. To express United States condemnation of the crackdown, President Bush suspended all arms trade, military exchanges, high-level government exchanges, and sought postponement of multilateral development bank loans. Congress followed that action with legislation restricting export licenses to China for satellites, conditionally withholding International Development Association funding, and conditionally prohibiting Export-Import Bank support of projects in China. In February 1990, Congress passed and the President signed into law extensive restrictions on United States aid and export licenses to China in the biennial Foreign Relations Authorization Act. In the years since, however, these restrictions have been substantially modified and weakened.

Since the incidents at Tiananmen Square, two issues in particular–the transfer of nuclear material and missile proliferation–have attracted United States attention and, in some cases, have led to the imposition of sanctions. In the 1980s and early 1990s, China supplied nuclear material, equipment, technology, and the design for an atomic bomb to Pakistan, and also provided nuclear assistance to Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Syria, and Russia [4]. After years of United States encouragement and increasing economic pressures, China acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on March 9, 1992. The Central Intelligence Agency reportedly discovered in late 1995, however, that China had recently exported ring magnets to Pakistan for use in uranium enrichment. Such an export apparently violates the NPT [5].

Note: Based on the China: U.S. Economic Sanctions Report.

Summary in the History of U.S. Economic Sanctions Imposed against China

The use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool to bring states into conformity with certain international norms, whether on human rights, nonproliferation, aggression, or a number of other issues, plays a central and controversial part in current United States foreign policy debates. Much of the authority to impose, waive, or lift sanctions rests with the President. In the case of the People's Republic of China, however, Congress has played an active part in constructing the United States sanction regime and, given current tensions, will probably examine the issue of United States-China relations in the coming months. To provide a context for such debate, this paper presents a post-World War II history of United States economic sanctions imposed against the People's Republic of China. It highlights sanctions currently active and lists occasions on which those restrictions have been waived.

After more than 20 years of nearly nonexistent United States-China relations, the process of normalization began in 1971 when trade and travel restrictions were eased. Full diplomatic relations were established in 1979, and a trade agreement was reached the same year. The following decade was one of increasing, but cautious, cooperation and trade.

Some Observations

Relations deteriorated rapidly in 1989, however, when the Chinese government aggressively suppressed a foundling pro-democracy movement. In June, when Chinese authorities cracked down on students in Beijing holding peaceful demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, the United States began to recraft its policies toward China and to consider imposing new sanctions. In the wake of the Tiananmen crackdown, the United States suspended arms trade, military exchanges, support in international financial institutions, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Trade and Development Agency funding, and export licenses for satellites, United States Munitions List items and crime control items.

Since 1989, United States-China relations have seesawed between cooperation and confrontation. Human rights, arms proliferation, the status of Taiwan and Tibet, and the use of prison labor for export goods, all have given cause to continue sanctions. As well, trade issues–intellectual property rights and Chinese markets closed by tariffs and other restrictions–raise the specter of trade sanctions.

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Notes and References

  1. 1 U.S. Army Area Handbook. China. 1972.

    2 U.S. Commercial Relations With Communist Countries, by Vladimir Pregelj. 1984. CRS Report 84-67 E. p. 6.

    3 Ibid., p. 11; U.S. Department of Treasury. Foreign Assets Control Office, February 1987. Comments on earlier draft of CRS paper.

  2. 4 Spector, Leonard S., The Undeclared Bomb. Ballinger Publishing Co., Cambridge, MA. 1988. p. 72-75. “The Nuclear Epidemic.” U.S. News & World Report, March 16, 1992. p. 40-51. “IAEA Allows Algeria, Syria To Import Reactors.” Foreign Broadcast Information Service, March 2, 1992. p. 1. “China, Iran Sign Contract for Construction of Two 300MW Nuclear Power Plants.” Foreign Broadcast Information Service, February 23, 1993. p. 2. Lewis, Paul. “Iraq Trying to Make Plutonium Too, U.N. Aide Says.” New York Times, February 13, 1992. p. A16.

    5 China Missile and Nuclear Proliferation: Issues for Congress, by Robert Shuey and Shirley A. Kan. February 12, 1996. CRS Issue Brief IB92056.

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See Also

Further Reading

  • Economic Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade Law (Raj Bhala)
  • Economic Sanctions entry in the Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History (Thomas Carson; Mary Bonk)
  • Economic Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade
  • Economic Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade: Handbook of the Global Trade Community (Edward G. Hinkelman)

Economic Sanctions: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Economic Sanctions. This part provides references, in relation to Economic Sanctions, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Economic Sanctions by content types:

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US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

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Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Economic Sanctions and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Economic Sanctions or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Economic Sanctions and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Economic Sanctions. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Economic Sanctions should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Economic Sanctions when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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