U.S. Constitution reference to ‘Marque and Reprisal’ presaged sanctions today, laid foundation with pirates as protagonists

By: Kenneth Barden *
Date: April 20, 2016

A little-noticed provision of the United States Constitution established the foundation for the economic sanctions in force today. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution authorizes Congress, “To… grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal …;” , Thus empowering the legislative branch to authorize private parties to seize and hold assets of foreign enemies. This grant of authority played an important role in the early days of the new nation and helped the U.S. combat foreign aggression. (more…)

‘Special measures’ are a distinct type of sanctions imposed by FinCEN, an OFAC sister agency at Treasury

Date: April 15, 2016

The United States sanctions regime is not localized exclusively in the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. That’s one reason why sanctions compliance officers have a tough job. They must not only keep up with the sanctions programs announced by the president and enforced by the Treasury Department. They must also solely, or in conjunction with fellow compliance officers in the anti-money laundering wing of the organization’s compliance department, comply with “Special Measures” that the same Treasury Department imposes routinely under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act. (more…)

It may surprise money laundering compliance officers

Date: March 28, 2016

It may surprise money laundering compliance officers and others who know the money laundering and financial crime provisions of the USA Patriot Act to learn that the law contains a "Trade Sanctions" provision. Section 221 of the landmark act sought to tighten trade sanctions and export controls aimed at terrorists and nations and organizations that pose threats to the U.S. (more…)

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