DOING BUSINESS IN A WORLD OF SANCTIONS AND EXTRATERRITORIALITY

High-Level Panel

On the occasion of the 29th Annual Session of the Crans Montana Forum, held in Brussels (Belgium) from June 27 to 30, a high-level conference was dedicated to doing Business in a World of Sanctions and Extraterritoriality.
 
Among the topics addressed :
 
Today, Sanctions are omnipresent

  • The number of sanctions is growing throughout the World; they can be imposed by one state (bilateral) or by several (multilateral) and can even target major powers
  • Sanctions have serious humanitarian consequences as they impact first and foremost the most vulnerable parts of the population
  • Sanctions lead – on a regional level – to the criminalisation of business through the development of an underground economy, which is supported by the target state as it aids in reducing the impact of sanctions while increasing the wealth of a powerful elite
  • The sanction system develops corruption within government institutions
  • The new practice of smart sanctions (more targeted sanctions) is deemed more effective
  • Sanctions are principally financial, monetary or commercial in nature. Those targeting individuals raise the issue of respecting the individuals’ rights (there are numerous instances of sanctions being overruled by the European Court of Justice)
  • Sanctions disrupt bilateral trade, prove costly for the sanctioning country and often provoke retaliation that is even more costly
  • In the long term, prohibitions to invest in certain countries damage economic operators in the sanctioning country, to the benefit of their competitors
  • Sanctions lead the target state to form new and alternative partnerships with countries not respecting the sanctions in place
  • Sport is not spared, effectiveness and legitimacy of sanctions, suspension and boycott measures

US SANCTIONS AND IRAN

A REVOLUTION IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS HAS JUST STARTED
WITH THE AMERICAN SANCTIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Extraterritoriality and Business Development

  • The United States imposes the effects of its sanctions upon all stakeholders with US interests, by imposing the extraterritorial application of US laws
  • The list of countries sanctioned by the United States is based on US foreign policy criteria. This is the sole judgement as to the “desirability” of foreign governments, which is then imposed upon all players in the global economy
  • The extraterritoriality of United States law imposes a strict compliance with US foreign policy upon every business that has subsidiaries, suppliers or clients in the United States or that is listed on Wall Street
  • US courts assume jurisdiction to sanction all transactions conducted anywhere in the world in US dollars, or having resulted in an email exchange passing through a server located on the US territory
  • Several billions Dollars in fines have been paid in the last few years by European firms accused of violating US sanctions or engaging in activities contrary to US legislation
  • Businesses considering trade with countries under US embargo must first seek the assistance of a specialist in US law


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June 29, 2018
Brussels
Belgium
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