Cost of Business with Rogue Regimes, Sanctions Work

Even though most U.S.-Libya economic sanctions had been eased when the events detailed in this Wall Street Journal article took place, it is a good example of why doing business with rogue regimes can be a gamble.  Read “Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony,” here. Snippets such as these also serve as a reminder …

USG Bags Texan in a Sudan Burlap Handbag Transaction

Every now and then, the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) — the agency that enforces U.S. sanctions against rogue regimes, individuals, and entities — publishes an interesting enforcement action that is worth a mention. These OFAC enforcement reports are not rich on details, but that is what makes them an interesting read …

Congress to Tackle Export Controls and Oversight of the Reform Process

In less than two weeks Members of Congress will, finally, join in on the export control reform dialogue that the Obama Administration initiated in August 2009. The Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR Initiative) builds upon an inter-agency review process and is supposed “to enhance U.S. national security and strengthen the United States’ ability to counter threats …

Around Town …

Over at the Export Law Blog a nice jab at the State Department’s definition of what should constitute a “defense service” under U.S. law. A gut feeling though, this rule is not going to die an easy death. I think the media, and the Obama Administration, spent too much time yesterday on the birther issue. Fox’s …

Economic Sanctions = Tools, Not Policy

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently said: “What we have seen is that sanctions can put pressure on governments and regimes to change their behavior.” In today’s Washington Post, Glenn Kessler (always a good read) penned an item titled “How effective are sanctions ‘changing behavior’,” analyzing the truthfulness of Carney’s remark. It is a …

Made in Pyongyang

In October 2008, the Bush Administration removed North Korea, according to some proliferation experts erroneously, from the state sponsors of terrorism list. Now a Republican House of Representatives is considering a trade agreement (KORUS FTA) that may give the North Koreans a way to avoid U.S. sanctions on goods from the communist state. The legislation …

Export Control Tips from Across the Pond

When I advise clients in high tech or defense manufacturing to limit the use of regular e-mail, most scoff. Small and medium-sized companies cannot afford, or think they cannot afford, secure IT systems for encrypted communications. But the long-term costs of not securing controlled data can be a economic disaster for smaller companies with federal …