February 05, 2019

Here’s How Trump Can Make Better Use of Corporate Sanctions

By Peter Harrell

The Trump administration’s decision, which went into force on Jan. 27, to lift sanctions on several companies owned by the influential Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, has proven controversial. Congress nearly blocked the action—more than 80 percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 57 Senators supported a resolution to overturn the plan. Only the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold kept the resolution from landing on President Donald Trump’s desk.

The controversy centered on the terms of the deal. Deripaska, a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will remain sanctioned personally. But Deripaska’s major holdings, including Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum companies, were removed from U.S. sanctions lists after the oligarch agreed to cut his ownership stake in them to 45 percent and the companies agreed to new, independent oversight to ensure that Deripaska cannot fully control them. Controversy only increased after the press got hold of the deal’s , which showed that Deripaska’s close associates and foundation kept approximately another 12 percent of the company and that Deripaska himself got hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief for the shares he divested.

U.S. officials in the executive branch and Congress should draw at least three major lessons from the fight over lifting sanctions on Deripaska’s companies.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

  • Commentary
    • December 12, 2019
    The China Challenge

    The United States and China are strategic competitors, and technology is at the center of this competition, critical to economic strength and national security. The United Sta...

    By Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • December 12, 2019
    Beyond the Trade War

    In an essay for Foreign Affairs, Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg, and Paul Scharre write that "the United States needs a fundamentally different approach to economic competiti...

    By Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Video
    • November 19, 2019
    U.S. Sanctions Compliance Weighs on Nonfinancial Companies

    Elizabeth Rosenberg talks about the biggest shifts affecting compliance officers in the U.S. at an event in New York hosted by The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Risk &...

    By Elizabeth Rosenberg

  • Commentary
    • World Politics Review
    • November 15, 2019
    Trump’s Boasts of an Economic ‘Boom’ Are Misplaced and Misguided

    President Donald Trump this week laid out his most direct case yet for staying the course in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a speech to the Economic Clu...

    By ​Neil Bhatiya

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia