Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) chaired a hearing of the National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services entitled “Schemes and Subversion: How Bad Actors and Foreign Governments Undermine and Evade Sanctions Regimes.” 

Sanctions are a powerful tool of diplomacy designed to change the behavior of an individual, group, or county, and are especially effective as part of broader multilateral efforts. Sanctions were crucial in bringing the Iranians to the table on nuclear weapons negotiations and isolating human rights violators through the Global Magnitsky Act. However, when people, groups, or countries evade sanctions, the United States loses important leverage.  

This hearing examined the methods of sanctions evasion and how to prevent these tactics. Methods range from using a shell company for transactions to cyber hacks to extract payments from U.S. companies. The Committee has worked to combat sanctions evasion through legislation to give law enforcement the resources and authority to better track evaders, as well as educating the market on sanctions evasion tactics; however, sanctioned entities continue to find new and innovative ways to evade sanctions.  

“Our sanctions programs can only be as impactful as they are effective,” said Himes. “Ensuring sanctions are successful decreases the likelihood that military action would be needed to maintain international order. Recent cyberattacks and the launch of the Venezuelan Petro reinforces the urgent need for the U.S. to bolster the efficacy of our sanctions.”  

Witnesses at today’s hearing included: 

  • Dr. Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, Professor, Department of Political Science, Tufts University 
  • Ivan A. Garces, Principal and Chair, Risk Advisory Services, Kaufman Rossin  
  • Lakshmi Kumar, Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity  
  • Jesse Spiro, Global Head of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Chainalysis  
  • Eric B. Lorber, Senior Director, Center on Economic and Financial Power, Foundation for Defense of Democracies 

For more information, contact Elena Radding at Elena.Radding@mail.house.gov