Scott, Senate Colleagues Call on White House to Stop Abusing Sanctions, Protect U.S. National Security

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in sending a letter to President Biden expressing concerns over the administration’s misuse of sanctions authorities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We write to express deep concerns with your administration’s misuse of authorities provided by Congress to combat corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean at the expense of strategic U.S. national security interests,” wrote the senators.

“Since January 2021, the overwhelming majority of public designations made under Section 7031(c) have targeted officials in Latin American and Caribbean governments that have cooperated with the United States on strategic diplomatic and national security interests,” the senators continued. “In contrast, your administration has ignored well-documented cases of significant corruption by foreign government officials actively undermining U.S. national security interests and supporting U.S. adversaries in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

“We are deeply troubled by why your administration appears to have politicized the sanctions process to target certain U.S. partners and undermine U.S. national and regional security while refusing to sanction egregious actions in the region by others,” the senators concluded. “The administration must immediately explain the process and criteria that it has used since January 2021 to designate individuals in Latin American and the Caribbean under Section 7031(c).”

Full text of the letter can be found here.