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Treasury Designates Turkish Ministries and Senior Officials in Response to Military Action in Syria  - U.S. Department of the Treasury

Two Ministries and Three Ministers Designated with New Executive Order

Washington – Today (10/14/19), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against two ministries and three senior Turkish Government officials in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria.  The Turkish Government’s actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS.  The Government of Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of National Defence, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of the Interior are blocked as a result of today’s action.  The designation of these ministries and officials is a result of the Turkish Government’s actions that further deteriorate peace, security, and stability of the region.  We are prepared to impose additional sanctions on Government of Turkey officials and entities, as necessary.

“The United States is holding the Turkish Government accountable for escalating violence by Turkish forces, endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with persons designated today may themselves be exposed to designation.  Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates any significant financial transactions for or on behalf of the persons designated today could be subject to U.S. correspondent or payable through account sanctions.

Today’s actions are not intended to affect or disrupt the operation of international humanitarian NGOs or the United Nations in Turkey in rendering humanitarian assistance to Syrian communities in need. 

OFAC is prepared to issue authorizations, such as general or specific licenses, as appropriate, to ensure that today’s action does not disrupt Turkey’s ability to meet its energy needs.

Additionally, OFAC issued three General Licenses simultaneously with today’s Executive Order.  General License 1 authorizes the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors otherwise prohibited by the order.  General License 2 authorizes a 30 day wind down period for all transactions and activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down operations, contracts, or other agreements involving the Ministries of National Defence or Energy and Natural Resources of the Government of Turkey.  General License 3 authorizes official activities of the United Nations involving the Ministry of National Defence or the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Government of Turkey.

Designation Bases and Authorities
Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defence is being designated pursuant to E.O. of October 14, 2019, for being a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Turkey.

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is being designated pursuant to E.O. of October 14, 2019, for being a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Turkey.

Hulusi Akar, the Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Turkey, is being designated pursuant to E.O. of October 14, 2019, for being a current or former official of the Government of Turkey.  

Suleyman Soylu, the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Turkey, is being designated pursuant to E.O. of October 14, 2019, for being a current or former official of the Government of Turkey. 

Fatih Donmez, the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Turkey, is being designated pursuant to E.O. of October 14, 2019, for being a current or former official of the Government of Turkey.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these persons, and of any other persons blocked by operation of law, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  E.O. October 14, 2019, and OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interest in property of blocked persons.
For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today, click here.

Federal Register Notices:

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists hit the mother lode this week, intercepting a total of 99 pounds of deeply concealed pork, raw poultry and heroin from a passenger vehicle at Juarez-Lincoln Bridge. 

“Our frontline CBP agriculture specialists, working in tandem with CBP agriculture specialist canine enforcement teams demonstrated outstanding vigilance and seized a well-hidden load of prohibited agricultural items as well as heroin,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “Their tireless dedication to protecting American agriculture helps to advance CBP’s border security mission and protect America’s economic security.”

The interception occurred on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Juarez-Lincoln Bridge when a 2007 Nissan Armada was referred for a secondary examination. During the examination, and with the assistance of a CBP agriculture specialist canine enforcement team, CBP agriculture specialists seized a total of 66 pounds of pork and 33 pounds of raw poultry hidden within the vehicle panels and seats. Additional examination by CBP officers revealed a personal-use quantity of heroin.

CBP agriculture specialists issued a $1,000 penalty and the vehicle was seized in connection with this enforcement action.

On the border at land, air and sea-based ports of entry, including Laredo, CBP agriculture specialists continue to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by excluding harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S. For more information regarding CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link. For updated traveler information regarding agricultural items coming into the United States, click on the following link.

CBP at Port Everglades Seizes Nearly Four Dozen Pounds of Cocaine Hidden Inside Boxes of Oranges - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – U.S. Customs and Protection (CBP) officers working at Port Everglades seized approximately 46.5 pounds of cocaine concealed within boxes of oranges arriving from the Dominican Republic over the weekend. The estimated street value of the drugs is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

CBP officers with the Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) detected anomalies while examining a container. A CBP K-9 alerted to the presence of illegal drugs and CBP officers discovered a white, powdery substance within multiple boxes. CBP seized 46.5 pounds of cocaine.

The substance field-tested positive for cocaine and evidence has been turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“We are extremely proud of CBP’s highly-trained and dedicated workforce continually adapting to respond to emerging threats and rapidly changing conditions,” said Acting Port Director Stephen Silvestri. “CBP teams work tirelessly to detect illicit trafficking of people, drugs, weapons and currency while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

CBP’s Office of Field Operations in Florida

CBP is the lead agency for preventing drug trafficking through airports, seaports, and land ports of entry and plays a significant role in the national drug control strategy. On a typical day in Fiscal Year 2018, CBP seized over 4,650 pounds of drugs. As a result of CBP’s all-threats mission, CBP officers frequently interdict drug-smuggling attempts and locate hidden contraband such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.

As America’s unified border agency, CBP plays a critical role in preventing illicit drugs from reaching communities in South Florida and across the country. CBP leverages targeting and intelligence-driven strategies—working in close coordination with a network of law enforcement partners as part of a multi-layered, risk-based approach to enhance the security of our borders.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations in Florida includes more than 2,700 front-line federal officers, agricultural specialists, trade and mission support personnel securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border and providing international travel and trade facilitation. The Miami Field Office encompasses five ports that stretch over 313 miles of Florida coastline, within which there are five seaports, including the top two cruise ship ports in the world; and nine airports, with Miami International Airport (MIA) ranking as the second busiest international airport among U.S. airports.

The Tampa Field Office encompasses the Area Ports of Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.  Both Field Offices also provide support to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Associate Chief Counsel, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the South Florida Federal Executive Board, and numerous other governmental agencies.

U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Circumvention Inquiries into Imports of Uncoated Paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today (10/15/19), the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of new inquiries into imports of uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia, to determine if imports of uncoated paper in roll form, which are then converted into sheets of paper after entering the United States, result in circumvention of the existing antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

U.S. law provides that Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry of AD/CVD orders when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing order is completed or assembled in the United States from parts and components imported from the country subject to an AD/CVD order, and the process of assembly or completion in the United States is minor or insignificant.

In 2018, imports of uncoated paper in sheet, roll, and folio form from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $3.9 million, $61.2 million, $1.9 million, and $14.9 million, respectively.

These inquiries are being initiated in response to requests from U.S. producers of uncoated paper: Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company, Finch Paper LLC, as well as the United Steel, Paper, and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial Service Workers International Union.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that circumvention is occurring, it will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on rolls of uncoated paper from Australia, Brazil, China, and Indonesia, that are subject to the inquiry. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date on which Commerce initiated these circumvention inquiries.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 25 new circumvention inquiries – a 178 percent increase from the number of circumvention initiations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.
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