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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Dianne E. Rennack
Specialist in Foreign Policy Legislation

The proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and the means to deliver them, are front and center today for policy makers who guide and form U.S. foreign policy and national security policy, and economic sanctions are considered a valuable asset in the national security and foreign policy toolbox. The United States currently maintains robust sanctions regimes against foreign governments it has identified as proliferators (particularly Iran, North Korea, and Syria). If the 112th Congress takes up even a fraction of the proposals introduced by its predecessor involving economic sanctions, the President and the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury—those agencies that implement and administer the bulk of sanctions regimes—will likely find the role of Congress in determining the use of sanctions also robust.

This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions.

Date of Report: November 30, 2010
Number of Pages: 43
Order Number: RL31502
Price: $29.95

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