Sanctions Spree: New Round of Sanctions against China and Russia

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Source: Morrison Forester
Published on: 10 Jul 2020
National Security, CFIUS, Sanctions + Export Controls Client Alert

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the U.S. Congress has stepped up its election year efforts by threatening heightened sanctions on China and Russia. The latest such bill, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (“HKAA”), passed with ease through both houses of Congress last week without objection, signaling bipartisan consensus for an aggressive approach in responding to developments in Hong Kong. Notably, Congress passed the HKAA a mere two weeks after another China sanctions bill, the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, became law.

Key takeaways from the legislative activity include:

• Stakes continue to rise between China and the United States as the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration respond to China’s enactment of a new national security law for Hong Kong.

• Congress appears to be determined to counter what it sees as an erosion of the autonomy of Hong Kong, as the HKAA both authorizes and mandates primary and secondary U.S. sanctions, even targeting foreign financial institutions transacting with anyone identified as contributing to that erosion.

• With the Trump Administration viewed as taking a soft stance on Russia, Congress continues to lead the charge to combat Russian election interference and the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipeline projects.

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For questions regarding the report, kindly contact: Jiang Liu, JiangLiu@mofo.com