Treasury No. 2 Adeyemo Sees Sanctions as Strong Policy Tool for Years to Come

FILE PHOTO: Economist Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo listens to questions during his Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo on Thursday kicked off a review of U.S. economic and financial sanctions, underscoring the need to use them as a strong, viable policy tool, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Adeyemo met with academics and other experts on sanctions, who affirmed the role of U.S. sanctions as a key instrument of U.S. national security and foreign policy, the statement said.

“Deputy Secretary Adeyemo noted that sanctions remain a potent and valuable tool for policymakers and as programs are evaluated, it is critical to keep an eye toward ensuring they remain a strong, viable option in years to come,” it said.

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Participants, including former Representative Howard Berman, Paula Dobriansky, a former senior State Department official, and Adam Szubin, a former senior Treasury official, agreed about the “value of coordination with allies and partners,” it said.

The Biden administration has started reviews of Trump administration policies on China and trade and its extensive use of financial and economic sanctions.

Adeyemo, who was confirmed by the Senate as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s deputy on March 25, told senators last month that he believed Iran should only enjoy sanctions relief if it took the appropriate steps to resume compliance with its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord.

He said Treasury would look carefully at “any Iranian efforts to evade sanctions and abuse the international banking system” to fund terrorist activities, and would use all available tools to disrupt that support.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Grant McCool)

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