OFAC DIRECTIVE 1 AS AMENDED SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

Business Update | October 11, 2017 | Author: Hdeel Abdelhady | PDF OFAC Further Tightens Russia Debt Prohibitions Pursuant to the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017 As required by the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017 (CRIEEA),[i] the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on September 29, 2017 amended and reissued OFAC Directive 1 (Directive 1).[ii] As amended, Directive 1 continues to prohibit certain “new” debt, equity, and related transactions involving entities subject to U.S. Sectoral Sanctions targeting Russia’s financial services sector. This Business Update discusses the background to and mechanics of Directive 1 as amended and reissued. Ukraine/Russia-Related… Read More

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Banks, Credit Unions and Other Financial Insitutions as Deputized Law Enforcement

From Anti-Money Laundering to Immigration Enforcement: Time to Reassess the Law Enforcement Role of Banks, Credit Unions and Other Financial Intermediaries.  “Credit unions are deeply committed to the fight against crime, but it is important to recognize we are not law enforcement agents and we have certain fundamental limitations.” This statement, made by the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of a major U.S. credit union in testimony before Congress in July 2017,[1] reflects the legal and regulatory requirements and expectations that banks, credit unions, money services businesses, and other financial intermediaries can, must, and should play a role in combatting the misuse of the financial system for illicit purposes.… Read More

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House Bill Would Enhance U.S. States’ Iran Sanctions Authority

On July 26, 2017, a bill was introduced in the House that would bolster U.S. states’ authority to impose sanctions on parties that engage in certain business with or in Iran. The State Sanctions Against Iranian Terrorism Act, H.R. 3425, would “amend the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 to secure the authority of State and local governments to adopt and enforce measures restricting investment in business enterprises in Iran, and for other purposes.” Among other measures, the House Bill would expand U.S. states’ authority to impose indirect Iran sanctions by excluding or debarring from state procurement and investments parties that do business in or with Iran, where… Read More

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House Bill Would Establish National Strategy for Combating Terrorism Financing

On July 20, 2017, Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced in the House of Representatives H.R. 3321, the “National Strategy for Combating Terrorist, Underground, and Other Illicit Financing Act.” The purpose of H.R. 3321 is to “require the establishment of a national strategy for combating the financing of terrorism and related financial crimes, and for other purposes.” As summarized by the House Financial Services Committee, which will meet to markup the bill on July 25, 2017, H.R. 3321 would among other measures “require the President, acting through the Treasury Secretary, to develop and publish a whole-of-government strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.” The text of H.R. 3321 is available here.  ****  For more information about… Read More

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World Bank Accountability Act of 2017

World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 Would Condition Certain U.S. Appropriations on World Bank’s Anti-Corruption and Counter-Violent Extremism Performance and Authorize Trump Administration’s Request to Reduce Funding to IDA  On July 25, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee will meet to markup H.R. 3326, the “World Bank Accountability Act of 2017.” H.R. 3326 was introduced in the House on July 20, 2017 by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. To date, the bill has no co-sponsors. The stated purpose of the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 is to “increase accountability, combat corruption, and strengthen management effectiveness at the World Bank.” Among other… Read More

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United States to Adopt New Traveler Identity Management, Information Sharing Standards

New U.S. Travel Standards Developed Pursuant to Executive Order 13,780 Are Broad in Scope and Applicability and May Conflict With Privacy and Other Laws  A July 12, 2017 State Department cable to all U.S. diplomatic and consular posts set forth new traveler information gathering and sharing standards that “all 191″ countries are required to meet for (1) information sharing on identity management and (2) information sharing on security and public safety threats” (the “Standards”). The Standards are set forth in a report jointly prepared by the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security with the Director of National Intelligence pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 13,780. On their face, the Standards are sweeping… Read More

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China’s One Belt One Road Could Disrupt U.S. Legal Dominance

On May 14, 2017, President Xi Jinping of China outlined plans to fund China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. If successful, OBOR would alter the global trade landscape and, secondarily, likely curtail the global reach of U.S. law. The potential legal effects of the OBOR and other non-U.S. dollar- and Bretton Woods system-centric trade and finance initiatives were discussed in an earlier MassPoint Occasional Note. Given President Xi's fresh announcement of concrete plans to carry forward the OBOR project, MassPoint's earlier discussion of the project's potential curtailment of the global reach of U.S. law-- and the links between U.S. dollar and financial system strength and the global reach of U.S. law--… Read More Continue Reading