Report: Biden administrator eases Trump’s sanctions regime against key US adversaries

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President Joe Biden is reportedly poised to chart a new course away from the foreign policy of his predecessor.

The Biden administration is reassessing how the United States uses economic sanctions and is planning a new approach that will eliminate widespread economic pressure campaigns, unilateral sanctions and excessive collateral damage, according to a Wall Street Journal report (WSJ). The changes are expected to come after the administration finishes reviewing the sanctions policy late in the summer, according to the WSJ.

Former Trump administration officials have reportedly said the Biden team is wasting years of accumulated influence by increasing sanctions against places like Venezuela, North Korea and Iran. These officials said relying on international partners and waiting for multilateral agreements to be concluded can harm U.S. national security, according to the WSJ.

“Our goal is to make sure we move from unilateral action, which has been what has defined US policy for the past four years, to really working with our partners,” a senior administration official reportedly said. Biden at the WSJ.

One case where the new approach is already underway is Iran, to which the Biden administration has offered sanctions relief in return for talks on a return to the Iran nuclear deal with its European partners. The Trump administration abandoned the nuclear deal in 2017 and systematically increased economic sanctions against the regime over the following years.

The administration has also sought international cooperation on sanctions against China for the actions of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, in Russia for its attacks on political freedoms and in Belarus for the crackdown on civil liberties. (RELATED: ‘Chinese Lack of Transparency’ Was ‘Ultimate Source of Death’ in Pandemic, Expert Told House Republicans)

Biden has deviated from Trump’s policies by choosing not to sanction the builders of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a major boon to Russia and a key European ally in Germany.

Biden’s team also eased restrictions on the Venezuelan port authority in February and issued pandemic relief waivers last month for Venezuela, Syria and Iran.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo is leading the administration’s policy review. His office said it “seeks to identify ways to promote a justified, strategic and judicious use of sanctions” in its meetings with key stakeholders, according to the WSJ.



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