On 30 January 2020, the Swiss Federal Council announced the first successful pilot transaction under the proposed Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), a payment mechanism designed to enable the delivery of humanitarian goods to Iran. The SHTA was developed by Switzerland since autumn 2018 with the cooperation of relevant US and Iranian authorities, along with selected Swiss and interested banks. Once finally agreed and implemented, it will become the first US OFAC-consented humanitarian trade arrangement,…
On January 10, 2020, the US Department of
Transportation (“DOT”) issued an order
imposing new restrictions on public charter flights from the United States to
Cuba. While certain US
restrictions on Cuba, including for travel, were relaxed under President Obama,
the Trump Administration has gradually rolled back some of these changes and
further tightened US travel restrictions vis-à-vis Cuba.
On November 27, 2019, President Trump signed two bills into law that increase US sanctions and export control restrictions as they relate to China. The bills, approved in response to recent political protests in Hong Kong, had near unanimous support from the US Congress. President Trump previously expressed concerns about the legislation while in the midst of negotiating a trade deal with China but ultimately signed both bills in the hopes that the “Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”
On 14 October, the United States and European Union each adopted sanctions measures targeting Turkey, in response to Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria. Subject to certain exceptions discussed further below, the US measures under a new Syria-related Executive Order (“New Syria EO“) took effect immediately and authorize sanctions targeting parties engaging in certain Syria-related activities, the Government of Turkey and Turkish Government officials, and certain sectors of the Turkish economy.
The EU measures are expected to come into effect shortly.