US Sanctions against China


On May 27, the US Congress approved the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (“S. 3744”), a bill which authorizes the imposition of sanctions on persons, including any official of the Chinese government, determined to be responsible for certain human rights violations and abuses committed against Muslim minority groups in China or elsewhere. The bill, which was approved amidst increasing tensions between the United States and China, now goes to the White House where…

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.”

The Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) announced on 31 May 2019 that the Chinese government will introduce an “Unreliable Entity List” regime, under which foreign entities or individuals that boycott or cut off supplies to Chinese companies for non-commercial purposes and causing serious damages to Chinese companies would be listed as “Unreliable Entities”. The specific rules, including the list itself and the restrictive measures applicable to the listed entities, will be separately released in the near future. This new regime may be used by China as a countermeasure against export control measures of foreign governments targeting specific Chinese companies.

In the past week, the US Government took several significant steps related to the US sanctions against Russia. These included imposing sanctions pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) for the first time and expanding the list of persons and entities identified as being part of the Russian defense or intelligence sectors under CAATSA Section 231. The US Government also clarified the scope of a sanctions waiver impacting foreign subsidiaries in Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”). Finally, the US Government extended the expiration dates for several general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (“RUSAL”) and EN+ Group PLC (“EN+ Group”).