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.

  • Reports
    • May 4, 2021
    Sanctions by the Numbers

    Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to U.S. national security and the integrity of the global commerce and financial system, especially when state-sponsored actors conduct and/...

    By Jason Bartlett & Megan Ophel

  • Podcast
    • April 28, 2021
    The Myths and Realities of China’s Digital Currency

    Yaya Fanusie joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman for a conversation about what China’s digital currency is and what it’s not. Listen to the full conversation from World Politics Revie...

    By Yaya J. Fanusie

  • Commentary
    • April 28, 2021
    Sharper: The Next 100 Days

    As the administration marks its 100th day in office, what lies ahead?...

    By Anna Pederson & Chris Estep

  • Congressional Testimony
    • April 15, 2021
    China’s Pursuit for Leadership in Digital Currency

    Submitted Written TestimonyI. Strategic Assessment Vice Chairman Cleveland, Commissioner Wessel, and distinguished members and staff of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Re...

    By Yaya J. Fanusie

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia