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November 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called on the Trump administration to appoint a seasoned diplomat at the State Department to coordinate sanctions policy In April, Congresswoman Rosen voted to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and also condemned North Korea’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Earlier this month, Rosen joined 26 other members in sending a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to appoint a Coordinator for Sanctions Policy.

“The White House's decision to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is a measure I have voted for and support,” said Rosen. “This is a step in the right direction, but this Administration still hasn't taken many necessary actions to hold North Korea accountable for its dangerous activities. North Korea is a serious threat that requires a strong and calculated response, and the recent decision to eliminate the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy office at the State Department undercuts those efforts. If we're going to be effective, then we must have capable policy experts and a diplomatic corps who can implement sanctions and execute our foreign policies. I urge this Administration to reverse course and appoint a seasoned diplomat to coordinate and enforce Congressionally-mandated sanctions on bad state actors who pose a threat to our national and global security.”

Read text of the letter here or below:

BACKGROUND: Congresswoman Rosen has fought to ensure that the U.S. military, intelligence agencies, and diplomatic corps are fully prepared to protect Americans from North Korean aggression and to hold the Kim regime accountable for its malicious activities. Earlier this year, Rosen joined 69 of her colleagues in urging President Trump to adopt a strong, strategic, and steady policy toward North Korea, including imposing and enforcing sanctions, enhancing diplomatic efforts, strengthening alliance in East Asia, nominating personnel to critical State Department positions, and maintaining a message of strong deterrence based on U.S. presence on the Korean peninsula. Congresswoman Rosen is a co-sponsor of the North Korea Intelligence Enhancement Act, H.R. 2175, which would require the Director of National Intelligence to establish an “integration cell” within the US intelligence community to streamline and synchronize the collection and dissemination of intelligence on North Korea.


November 8, 2017

The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Tillerson:

We are writing in response to reports that this administration will not continue the State Department’s office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy. As members of Congress who support diplomacy and multilateral sanctions, we urge you to maintain and prioritize the appointment of this critical position in State’s Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions deputate.

The State Department’s 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) called for improving State’s capacity to use sanctions and support efforts to combat illicit finance, including the establishment of the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions policy under the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions (DAS). In its most recent inspection of the Bureau of Economic Business Affairs (EB), the State Department’s Inspector General reported that “the coordinator and DAS meet frequently and cooperate on briefing Congress and consultations with foreign governments. EB staff provides substantial support to the coordinator, particularly on Iran sanctions.”

We should not be cutting this office at a time when we are actively seeking support from European allies and others around the world to join the United States in imposing sanctions on Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. Rather, it is critical that the State Department maintains the position of Coordinator at the rank of Ambassador, and swiftly appoints an experienced, senior diplomat to this role. Doing so would also demonstrate this administration’s commitment to a comprehensive and coordinated interagency sanctions policy.

We believe that pursuing multilateral sanctions, including U.N Security Council resolutions, is one of the most effect means of exerting maximum pressure on the United States’ adversaries. The U.S. currently has at least 27 different sanctions regimes in place, including those authorized by the recently-passed Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA). We are hopeful that restoring this office will help this administration to implement these overdue Congressionally-mandated sanctions.

The United States must continue to pursue cooperation with our allies to implement, enforce, and strengthen crippling multilateral sanctions against our adversaries. We urge you to use your authority to fully staff State’s Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions with the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy.

Thanks in advance for your prompt reply.