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OFAC takes aim at election tampering

The Treasury agency takes steps to implement a new sanctions list to punish foreign entities that interfere in U.S. elections, but the “final rule” is still in development.

   The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has initiated steps to implement a new sanctions list related to those foreign entities determined to have interfered in U.S. elections.
   The launch of the list is based on President Donald Trump’s Sept. 12 executive order, “Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a U.S. Election,” mostly in response to allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
   In particular, Russia’s alleged tactics included infiltration of election and campaign infrastructure and covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, which “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” OFAC said.
   However, OFAC said the regulations were published in “abbreviated form at this time for the purpose of providing immediate guidance to the public.” 
   The agency said it intends to supplement the “final rule” with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses and statements of licensing policy.
   The Federal Register notice announcing the new sanctions list may be viewed here.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.