Global Impact of Economic Sanctions in the Trump Era

John E. Smith, Partner, Morrison & Foerster, Washington DC

Venue : AmCham Office, 1 Scotts Rd, Shaw Centre #23-03 S(228208) - Stamford American Auditorium

Date : October 29, 2018

Time : 4:45 PM - 6:00 PM

Price : $0.00

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Developments in the U.S. Regulatory and Enforcement Landscape

Hosted by the Government & Regional Affairs and Legal & IPR Committees

After much anticipation, there have been major developments in the U.S. regulation and enforcement of matters impacting national security, economic sanctions, and export controls, and the U.S. government is poised to make further changes in the coming months:

“Snap Back” of Iran Sanctions

On August 6, President Trump signed an executive order to re-impose sweeping sanctions on Iran.
  Among other results, these “snap back” sanctions cover those doing business in Singapore and throughout the region and other non-U.S. parties that engage in business with Iran.  In a tweet, President Trump noted his aggressive intentions for the sanctions:  “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.”  The first phase of the snap back began on August 7 and the second, and most impactful, phase will begin on November 5.

Russia Sanctions Developments

The U.S. Treasury is expected to act by mid-November, shortly after the U.S. Congressional elections, on sanctions measures currently impacting worldwide aluminum markets, and the U.S. Congress is continuing to debate multiple sanctions bills targeting Russia that would significantly impact global trade with Russia.  John Smith will explain these developments and their significance for those doing business in Singapore and throughout the region, and offer guidance on how to successfully navigate the changed U.S. legal, regulatory, and political framework in pursuing their global business objectives, including transactions in the U.S.”

About the Speaker

John E. Smith
Morrison & Foerster, Washington DC

After serving 11 years as a top official at Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including three years as its Director, John Smith has unmatched experience in economic sanctions, enforcement
  and national security. Mr. Smith has deep experience and unique perspective on the complexities and escalating risk of U.S. and multilateral sanctions. He is a trusted advisor for companies navigating significant civil and criminal enforcement actions by U.S. and other government prosecutors and regulators.

At OFAC, John was centrally involved in all aspects of developing, implementing, and enforcing U.S. government sanctions requirements. As OFAC Director, he oversaw every OFAC enforcement case against financial institutions and global operating companies.
  He played a pivotal role as OFAC moved to the center of the US’s response to the world’s most complex and challenging national security and foreign policy crises, working closely with other governments and multilateral agencies and the private sector.

He has leading expertise on U.S. sanctions, anti-money laundering (AML), and export controls cases and policies. At OFAC, he worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue major sanctions and export controls enforcement matters, including significant civil and criminal penalties against major global actors and noteworthy cases against malicious cyber actors. He has overseen the U.S. government’s economic sanctions efforts, imposing sanctions on heads of state, countries, and illicit actors, conducting enforcement actions against dozens of major financial institutions and companies around the world, and developing innovative sanctions enforcement policies to address evolving U.S. national security priorities. His responsibilities and achievements have included:


·        Supervising the investigation, preparation, strategy, and settlement of dozens of major enforcement cases for hundreds of millions of dollars involving apparent sanctions and export control violations by global financial institutions and corporations;

·        Leading the development and imposition of some of the most significant sanctions ever involving Iran, Russia, North Korea, Syria, supporters of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, malicious cyber actors, transnational criminal organizations, and narcotics traffickers; and

·        Acing as Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), overseeing economic sanctions, illicit finance, and AML efforts by OFAC and other TFI components, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).


Prior to John’s 11-year tenure at OFAC, he served as the only American on a Security Council panel of experts charged with monitoring the implementation of UN-mandated sanctions on Al-Qaida and the Taliban. In this role, he led assessment visits to more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Gulf, meeting with top-ranking government officials, central banks, customs and export control offices, and intelligence agencies, as well as many of their financial institutions.

He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the DOJ for five years. During his tenure, he defended U.S. agencies including OFAC in challenges to significant government programs and statutes, including the USA Patriot Act, the 2000 Census, and other matters involving highly sensitive and classified information. John acted as the lead trial counsel in defending the first legal challenges to the terrorist asset freezing program implemented by OFAC following September 11, 2001.

  has received numerous noteworthy accolades throughout his career, including the Alexander Hamilton Award, the top award given by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (2018); and the Special Commendation for Outstanding Service (Anti-Terrorism), awarded by the DOJ (2002).

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