Press Releases

Ensuring the Effective and Successful Implementation of Economic Sanctions


Washington, September 26, 2018 -

The Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee held a hearing today to examine the Administration’s use of economic sanctions to achieve foreign policy objectives with respect to Iran, North Korea, Russia, and other countries of strategic importance.

“Today’s hearing focused on the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions, while emphasizing the importance of applying maximum pressure on certain rogue nations, such as Iran, Russia and North Korea, to positively change their behavior. That is why the House passed, by a near unanimous margin, my legislation H.R. 3898, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, which would impose the toughest sanctions ever directed at North Korea and its allies. I want to thank Assistant Secretary Marshall Billingslea for testifying today and I look forward to continue working directly with the Treasury Department to implement a long-term strategy to thwart the threats posed by these states,” said Subcommittee Chairman Andy Barr (R-KY).

Key Takeaways

  • The U.S. should maintain maximum sanctions pressure on North Korea and its enablers until Pyongyang demonstrates it is serious about denuclearization.
  • Now that sanctions have been re-imposed on Iran, they should be part of a comprehensive and long-term strategy to thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
  • As the administration and Congress explore the potential for new sanctions on Russia, we should design measures more effectively around specific goals, particularly behavioral change from Russia’s leadership.

Topline Quotes from Witnesses

“Each of these countries poses its own particular challenge to the United States, our allies, and the international order, yet there are common threads linking them together… For these various reasons, our Iran, Russia, and North Korea sanctions programs are among our most active and complex… we must closely examine and take into account each country’s distinct economic characteristics in addition to our broader foreign policy and national security objectives to ensure that the financial impact we seek is achieved, our national security objectives served, and disruption to the supply chains of friendly nations is minimized and international cohesion is maintained to the maximum extent practicable...” – The Honorable Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, U.S. Department of the Treasury

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