United States Issues New Executive Order with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia

U.S. Commits to Free Flow of Humanitarian Assistance in Northern Ethiopia Conflict

WASHINGTON — In response to the growing conflict and humanitarian and human rights crisis in northern Ethiopia, which has threatened the peace, security, and stability of Ethiopia and the greater Horn of Africa region, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.), “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.”  The E.O. declares a national emergency with respect to the crisis and provides the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, with authorities to impose a range of targeted sanctions on persons determined, among other things, to be responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that expand or extend the ongoing crisis or obstruct a ceasefire or peace process in northern Ethiopia or commit serious human rights abuse. 

“Together, with allies, partners, and international organizations, the United States calls on all parties to enter into negotiations to end the conflict.  This conflict has created a widespread humanitarian crisis and threatens the stability of Ethiopia,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.  “The Treasury Department is prepared to employ the range of targeted actions to hold accountable anyone contributing to the deepening of this crisis. The negotiated end of the conflict will set the stage for the United States and international partners to reengage in our efforts to support Ethiopia’s reforms to boost economic growth and job creation.” 

The E.O. authorizes targeting of actors contributing to the crisis in northern Ethiopia and is not directed at the people of Ethiopia, Eritrea, or the greater Horn of Africa region.  Treasury remains committed to ensuring that U.S. sanctions do not limit the ability of civilians located in Ethiopia and the region to receive humanitarian support from the international community.  As part of this commitment, concurrent with the issuance of the new E.O., Treasury issued three general licenses (GLs), which authorize official activities of certain international organizations and other international entities, certain transactions in support of nongovernmental organizations’ (NGOs) activities, and certain transactions related to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical items.  For more information, please see Ethiopia GLs 1, 2, and 3.

“Treasury is committed to facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ethiopia.  Treasury will continue to work with financial institutions, international organizations, and the NGO community to ease the flow of necessary resources to the people in need across Ethiopia and throughout the greater Horn of Africa region,” said Deputy Secretary Adeyemo.

Furthermore, today Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued six Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  These FAQs provide additional clarity and guidance regarding the non-application of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule to the property and interests in property of persons blocked pursuant to this E.O., as well as additional information on the activities authorized by Ethiopia GLs 1, 2, and 3.  For more information, please see FAQs 922, 923, 924, 925, 926, and 927.

View information from the White House on the new E.O.

 

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Treasury Sanctions International Financial Networks Supporting Terrorism

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating members of a network of Lebanon- and Kuwait-based financial conduits that fund Hizballah.  Additionally, OFAC is designating members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies that operate in support of Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trades in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  Hizballah, with the support of the IRGC-QF, uses the revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities, as well as to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region. 

“Hizballah and the IRGC-QF continue to exploit the international financial system to finance acts of terrorism,” said Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea M. Gacki.  “The United States will not hesitate to take action to disrupt networks that provide financial support to Hizballah and IRGC-QF.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  Hizballah was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 31, 2001.  The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, in 2007 for supporting numerous terrorist groups.

Hizballah’s Financiers in Kuwait and Lebanon

Today’s actions underscore the direct ties between Hizballah’s global financial network and terrorist activities.  Hizballah continues to exploit the legitimate commercial sector for financial and material support, which enables the group to carry out acts of terrorism and degrade Lebanon’s political institutions.  The designations of the individuals and entities described below demonstrate Treasury’s ongoing efforts to target Hizballah and the essential support provided to it by Iran’s IRGC-QF.

Hasib Muhammad Hadwan, also known as Hajj Zayn, is a senior official in Hizballah’s General Secretariat.  He is subordinate to Hizballah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, and is responsible for raising funds from donors and businessmen outside Lebanon.  OFAC designated Hassan Nasrallah on May 16, 2018, pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, as the leader of Hizballah.  Ali al-Sha’ir is Hadwan’s office manager and has been accepting financial contributions on behalf of Hizballah since 2000.

Hasib Muhammad Hadwan is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.  Ali al-Sha’ir is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.    

Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l coordinated the transfer of millions of dollars to Hizballah from Kuwait through Jamal Husayn ‘Abd ‘Ali ‘Abd-al-Rahim al-Shatti.  Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l also travelled to Lebanon to meet with Hizballah officials to donate money to the group. 

Both Talib Husayn ‘Ali Jarak Ismai’l and Jamal Husayn ‘Abd ‘Ali ‘Abd-al-Rahim al-Shatti are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Hizballah and IRGC-QF Currency Exchange, Gold, and Electronics Sales Network

IRGC-QF and Hizballah financial facilitators Meghdad Amini and Ali Qasir helm a network of nearly 20 individuals and front companies, located in multiple countries and jurisdictions, that facilitates the movement and sale of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, electronics, and foreign currency in support of Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  Amini was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in May 2018 for his role in helping the IRGC-QF transfer cash out of Iran to the UAE for conversion into U.S. dollars.  Qasir was previously designated in September 2019 pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi, who oversaw a vast network involved in oil sales on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  Qasir, a Hizballah financial facilitator, works with Hizballah officials to manage the group’s bank accounts in Iran and collaborates with IRGC-QF officials to manage financial transactions in the interest of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.  He has helped transfer hundreds of millions of dollars for the benefit of Hizballah and Iran.  Qasir continued to work with Ghasemi to arrange the sale of Iranian oil to foreign customers in order to generate revenue for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah following the pair’s 2019 designations.

Qasir is being designated today pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.

Amini and Qasir are aided in their efforts by a team of trusted subordinates.  Omid Yazdanparast, Mohammad Ali Damirchilu, and Samaneh Damirchilu facilitate the smuggling of gold and currency from Iran to Turkey via commercial flights operated by U.S.-designated Iranian airline Mahan Air.  Mohammad Reza Kazemi facilitates the gold sales in Turkey.  Once gold is sold, the proceeds are returned to Iran through the same process, whereupon they are transferred to Amini and Qasir.  Samaneh Damirchilu has also worked with Qasir to facilitate the sale of Iranian oil to foreign buyers.

Yazdanparast and Samaneh Damirchilu are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Ali Qasir.  Mohammad Reza Kazemi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Meghdad Amini.  Mohammad Ali Damirchilu is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ali Qasir.

Mostafa Puriya and Hossein Asadollah sell electronics on behalf of this network in the UAE through the Dubai-based company Hemera Infotech FZCO.  Puriya and Asadollah are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Meghdad Amini.  Hemera Infotech FZCO is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Hossein Asadollah.

China-based businessman Morteza Minaye Hashemi has used his access to the international financial system to launder vast sums of money for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah.  In coordination with Mohammad Reza Kazemi, Hashemi has laundered tens of millions of dollars for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah through foreign currency conversions and gold sales.  Hashemi has also been involved in financial transfers associated with Mohammadreza Khedmati, another IRGC-QF financial facilitator designated in May 2018 alongside Amini for providing support to the IRGC-QF.

Hashemi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF and Hizballah.  

Hashemi controls multiple companies based out of Hong Kong and mainland China.  Hashemi is aided by People’s Republic of China nationals Yan Su Xuan and Song Jing who, at the direction of Hashemi, have helped him establish bank accounts and serve as straw owners for his companies. Yan Su Xuan, on Hashemi’s behalf, has also purchased U.S.-origin, dual-use products for onward shipment to Iran.

PCA Xiang Gang Limited, Damineh Optic Limited, China 49 Group Co., Limited, Taiwan Be Charm Trading Co., Limited, and Black Drop Intl Co., Limited are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Hashemi.

Victory Somo Group (HK) Limited and Yummy Be Charm Trading (HK) Limited are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Song Jing.  Hashemi maintains significant oversight over the funds and administration of these two companies.

Sanctions Implications

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities named above, and any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in control of a U.S. person must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the persons designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.  Several individuals being designated today are subject to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implement the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, as amended by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018.  Pursuant to these authorities, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.

For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/897.  Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information.  

View identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today.

 

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New Blog Post by Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo on Centering American Rescue Plan Implementation on Racial Equity

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Department of the Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo published a new blog post detailing the department’s work to put racial equity front and center in its first six months of implementing the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan represents an unprecedented opportunity for both immediate recovery efforts and lasting, generational investments in vulnerable communities across the country and Treasury is employing a combination of policymaking, outreach, and operations to ensure this potential is achieved.

“Long before most of us had ever heard the word “coronavirus,” this country had suffered from a profound racial wealth gap that makes it harder for communities of color to weather economic downturns, from the pandemic to the financial crisis more than a decade ago,” writes Deputy Secretary Adeyemo. “The Biden Administration has made promoting racial equity a top priority since Day 1, and nowhere is that clearer than in the American Rescue Plan. Over the past six months, our team at Treasury has worked closely with the White House to implement this historic legislation, put these priorities into action, and pave the road to inclusive recovery that we’ve been walking since.”

Since the law was signed by President Biden in March, the Treasury Department has disbursed approximately $700 billion of the $1 trillion in programs administered by Treasury. This includes over $450 billion paid directly to families and households, including through more than 170 million Economic Impact Payments totaling over $400 billion, over 106 million Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments totaling more than $46 billion, and over 1 million payments of Emergency Rental Assistance totaling more than $5 billion.

To ensure this historic assistance reaches underserved communities across the country, Treasury stood up a new, dedicated Office of Recovery Programs with dedicated leadership and staff putting priorities like racial equity at the center of their work on the recovery every day. That focus on equity is reflected in the Office’s decision to hire full-time Tribal affairs staff to help distribute tens of billions of ARP funds set aside for Tribal communities. This commitment has also flowed through the programs and policies administered by this Office, from nationwide programs that put financial resources in the hands of communities of color today like the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which dedicates an additional $2.5 billion for very low-income households paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent or living in substandard or overcrowded conditions, to initiatives like the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative and $9 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program that will increase capital access in these communities and help create ecosystems of opportunity and entrepreneurship over time.

A link to Deputy Secretary Adeyemo’s blog post is here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/American-Rescue-Plan-Centering-Equity-in-Policymaking.pdf

A link to Treasury’s recent report on the first 6 months of American Rescue Plan implementation is here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/American-Rescue-Plan-Six-Month-Report.pdf

 

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OCC Reports Second Quarter 2021 Bank Trading Revenue

News Release 2021-98 | September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported trading revenue of U.S. commercial banks and savings associations of $8.1 billion in the second quarter of 2021. The second quarter trading revenue was $2.4 billion, or 22.9 percent, less than the previous quarter.

In the report, Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities, the OCC noted that trading revenue in second quarter 2021 decreased by 40.9 percent compared with the $13.6 billion reported in second quarter 2020.

The OCC reported that

  • while four large banks held 88.7 percent of the total banking industry notional amount of derivatives, a total of 1,372 insured U.S. national and state commercial banks and savings associations held derivatives at the end of second quarter 2021.
  • derivative contracts remained concentrated in interest rate products, which represented 72.6 percent of total derivative notional amounts.
  • the percentage of centrally cleared derivatives transactions increased quarter-over-quarter to 39.5 percent in second quarter 2021.

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U.S. Treasury Announces FY 2021 CDFI Program and NACA Program Technical Assistance Awards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded 191 organizations more than $24.1 million in awards today. The fiscal year (FY) 2021 Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) Technical Assistance Awards will allow Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and emerging CDFIs to build their capacity to provide services to low-income and underserved people and communities across America.

“CDFI Fund’s Technical Assistance Awards play a vital role in building the capacity of startup and existing CDFIs and, ultimately, increase the impact of the capital and credit they deploy in distressed and underserved communities,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. “The FY 2021 CDFI Program and NACA Program Technical Assistance recipients will continue that work in communities across the country, including 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.”

More information about the CDFI Program and NACA Program Technical Assistance Awards is below.

FY 2021 CDFI Program Technical Assistance Awards

The CDFI Program invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and underserved communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. Technical Assistance awards provide seed capital that enables uncertified organizations to successfully secure certification as a CDFI. Award Recipients often use the funds to analyze which products and services are appropriate for their target markets, develop lending policies and procedures, and build staff lending capacity. More established CDFIs also use Technical Assistance awards to provide new products, to serve current target markets in new ways, or to enhance the efficiency of their operations.

For FY 2021, 174 organizations received more than $21.6 million in CDFI Program Technical Assistance Awards. The maximum award amount available was $125,000. A full list of the award recipients can be found below.

FY 2021 NACA Program Technical Assistance Awards

The NACA Program facilitates the creation and advancement of Native CDFIs. Organizations funded through the NACA Program serve a wide range of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities, and reflect a diversity of institutions in various stages of development, including: organizations in the early planning stages of CDFI formation; tribal entities working to certify an existing lending program; and established Native CDFIs in need of further capacity building assistance.

For FY 2021, 17 organizations received $2.5 million in NACA Program Technical Assistance Awards. The maximum award amount available was $150,000. A full list of the award recipients can be found below.

The CDFI Fund also provides Financial Assistance Awards through the CDFI Program and NACA Program to further expand and support the financing activities of CDFIs. The CDFI Fund anticipates announcing the FY 2021 Financial Assistance Awards later in calendar year 2021.
To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit www.cdfifund.gov. Additional information about the CDFI Program is available at www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi, and the NACA Program at www.cdfifund.gov/native.

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Treasury Sanctions Significant Drug Trafficking Organization

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Zulma Maria Musso Torres (Musso Torres) as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

Musso Torres (a.k.a. “La Patrona” or “La Señora”) is the leader of an international drug trafficking organization (DTO) primarily based in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia.  Musso Torres’ DTO controls strategically located maritime corridors in northern Colombia and collects a per kilogram tax from narcotics traffickers for protection and safe passage of multi-ton shipments of narcotics through the DTO’s area of control.

Musso Torres is assisted by her two sons, Washington Antunez Musso (Antunez Musso) and Juan Carlos Reales Britto (Reales Britto), and her husband, Luis Antonio Bermudez Mejia (Bermudez Mejia), who were also designated today for providing material support to the narcotics trafficking activities of Musso Torres.  Antunez Musso, Reales Britto, and Bermudez Mejia report directly to Musso Torres and assist her drug trafficking activities at seaports and maritime locations in the Magdalena, Atlantico, and La Guajira departments of Colombia.  Musso Torres’ DTO is responsible for facilitating the transportation of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.

Also designated today are two Colombian entities, Exclusive Import Export S.A.S. and Poligono Santa Marta S.A.S., that are owned, controlled, or directed by, or act for or on behalf of, Antunez Musso and Reales Britto.  Exclusive Import Export S.A.S., an agricultural trading company, and Poligono Santa Marta S.A.S., a firearm shooting range and training facility, are both located in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia.

Today’s action would not have been possible without the support and assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Field Division’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, DEA’s Cartagena Resident Office, DEA’s Bogota Country Office, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office.

“OFAC will continue to work with its interagency partners to identify, target, and disrupt the most significant drug trafficking organizations facilitating the shipment of drugs to the United States,” said OFAC Director Andrea Gacki.  “Today’s designation of Musso Torres and members of her organization serve as a reminder that Colombian cocaine continues to pose a major threat to the United States.”

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Since June 2000, more than 2,200 entities and individuals have been sanctioned pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,548,075 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

View more information on the network designated today.

View the Kingpin Act chart on the network designated today.

Treasury Report: $700 Billion of $1 Trillion in American Rescue Plan Relief Disbursed in First Six Months

Over $450 billion paid directly to families and households through Economic Impact Payments, Advance Child Tax Credits, and Emergency Rental Assistance

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a new report on the first six months of the department’s implementation of the American Rescue Plan. Since the law was signed by President Biden, the Treasury Department has disbursed approximately $700 billion of the $1 trillion in programs administered by Treasury. This includes over $450 billion paid directly to families and households, including through more than 170 million Economic Impact Payments totaling over $400 billion, over 106 million Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments totaling more than $46 billion, and over 1 million payments of Emergency Rental Assistance totaling more than $5 billion.

Treasury has also sent $240 billion in fiscal support to state, territorial, local, and Tribal governments that is being used to fight the pandemic and accelerate the economic recovery. Over 99% of currently available State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are in the hands of governments across the country, who are using these resources not only to meet immediate pandemic response needs, but to make long-term investments in the recovery, equity, and prosperity of their local communities.

“While our recovery has not been without bumps, a rebound of this scale and speed was never guaranteed to happen,” said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “From the start, the policy decisions made and executed by this administration, including the programs contained in the American Rescue Plan, were conceived to help all segments of the economy and provide much-needed relief for families struggling through the pandemic. While there’s still more work to do to ensure an equitable and strong recovery over the long-term, it’s clear six months in that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is working.”

Over the past six months, Secretary Yellen and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo have traveled the country to see American Rescue Plan programs at work. In July, Secretary Yellen traveled to Atlanta where she visited a non-profit organization helping people sign-up for the Child Tax Credit and Emergency Rental Assistance. Last week, the Secretary participated in a virtual White House event to hear from governors, mayors and local officials leading effective Emergency Rental Assistance programs. Over the course of the summer, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo visited Emergency Rental Assistance programs in Houston, TX; Arlington, VA; and Prince George’s County, MD. In recent weeks, the Deputy Secretary visited a Connecticut Emergency Rental Assistance Program and a program run by the city of Hartford, CT where librarians are helping sign people up for to receive their advance Child Tax Credit. Tomorrow, he will travel to Yonkers, New York to visit another community-based Child Tax Credit sign-up program.

A link to the report is here: American Rescue Plan Six Month Report.

Treasury Designates al-Qa’ida Financial Network in Turkey

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against five al-Qa’ida supporters operating in Turkey who provided a range of financial and travel facilitation services to al-Qa’ida.  These designations are being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  On September 23, 2001, the President signed E.O. 13224, which designated al-Qa’ida under its authorities.

“These targeted sanctions highlight the United States’ unwavering commitment to sever financial support to al-Qa’ida,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.  “We will continue working with our foreign partners, including Turkey, to expose and disrupt al-Qa’ida’s financial support networks.” 

MAJDI SALIm

Majdi Salim, a Turkey-based lawyer born in Egypt, is one of the primary facilitators of a range of al-Qa’ida activities in Turkey, including acting as a financial courier within the al-Qa’ida network in Turkey.  He is the former Emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), having taken over for current al-Qa’ida leader Ayman Zawahiri.  On September 23, 2001, Ayman Zawahiri, then the Deputy Emir of al-Qa’ida under Osama Bin Ladin, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224.

Majdi Salim is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida.

MUHAMMAD NASR AL-DIN AL-GHAZLANI

Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, an Egyptian national and veteran al-Qa’ida facilitator, is a Turkey-based financial courier who used cash transfers to support al-Qa’ida.  Al-Qa’ida used Turkey-based financial couriers, like Muhammad Ghazlani, to facilitate funds transfers on behalf of al-Qa’ida, including providing money to the families of imprisoned al-Qa’ida members. 

Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida.

NURETTIN MUSLIHAN

Nurettin Muslihan, a Turkish national, is a Turkey-based al-Qa’ida financial facilitator who maintained contact with al-Qa’ida senior leadership.  Muslihan worked to establish direct communications with al-Qa’ida extremists, including now-deceased al-Qa’ida senior leader Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, also known as Abu Khayr al-Masri, who operated in Syria.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, pursuant to E.O. 13224, on October 3, 2005. 

Nurettin Muslihan is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida.

CEBRAIL GUZEL

Cebrail Guzel, a Turkish national, is a Turkey-based al-Qa’ida facilitator who worked with, and provided material support to, Nurettin Muslihan as part of Muslihan’s efforts to support al-Qa’ida.  For example, Cebrail Guzel worked with Nurettin Muslihan to facilitate the network’s relationship with now-deceased al-Qa’ida senior leader Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman in Syria.  

Cebrail Guzel is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida.

SONER GURLEYEN

Soner Gurleyen, a Turkey-based Turkish national, is an al-Qa’ida extremist and financial facilitator.  Soner Gurleyen provided another al-Qa’ida violent extremist with assistance in preparation for the latter’s travel. 

Soner Gurleyen is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, al-Qa’ida.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.  Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

For information concerning the process for seeking removal from any OFAC list, including the Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/897.  Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.

Acting Comptroller Discusses Priorities, Safeguarding Trust in Banking

News Release 2021-97 | September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu today discussed the agency’s priorities during an appearance before the Exchequer Club. His remarks provided the audience an overview of his priorities to reduce inequality, adapt to digitization, act on climate change, and guard against complacency, and how each priority addresses a significant threat to trust in banking.

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen on Shortages in the Child Care System

Treasury Report Shows U.S. Child Care System Overburdens, Has Inadequate Supply

Thank you, Madam Vice President, for coming across the street – and, much more importantly, for your kind words about our Treasury team and your leadership on this issue.

Let me also say: Nik Knight, thank you for sharing your story. Economic policymaking is a data-driven exercise, but on issues like child care, we also need to see the humanity beneath the data, and that’s what you’ve given us today.

We didn’t plan this, but today is a very appropriate day for me to participate in this event. Because it turns out, forty years ago on this exact morning – September 15th, 1981 – I was returning to work.

My son Robert had been born over the summer, and by the time the school year rolled around, I was ready to resume teaching again at Berkeley. I needed a babysitter, and I started doing some research. What was the going rate for child care in the Bay Area? I asked friends with kids and surveyed child care providers, and when I came to an answer, I called the Classified section of The Daily Californian – people still used those back then – and purchased a “help wanted” advertisement, offering “good pay,” the market rate plus a few dollars more per hour. “Job starts on September 15,” I added.

Why a few dollars more? My husband George was an economist too – he still is – and at the time, we were both interested in the topic of “efficiency wages.” Classical economics says that it’s not rational to pay a worker more than the market rate, but we hypothesized it could be. The job might be an important one, for example, and a higher wage could encourage someone to do better work. That’s a completely rational reason to pay someone more, especially if the job is some of the most intimate work there is, which is caring for children.

Our hypothesis proved correct, at least in our own home. The advertisement led us to a babysitter who took wonderful care of Robert while George and I were at work.

But we were fortunate. Our experience with child care was definitely not the norm at the time, and it is far from the norm today. For the vast majority of Americans, the child care industry works in precisely the opposite way it worked for us, which is to say it doesn’t work at all: Those who provide child care aren’t paid well, and many who need it, can’t afford it.

In fact, the report that Treasury is releasing today finds the most parents need child care at the exact moment when they can least afford it – at the beginning of their career when their income is lowest. There’s no financing to help them pay. If you walked into a bank, and asked for a daycare or nanny loan, no one would give it to you. Economists call this particular market failure, “a liquidity constraint.” Instead, families have to spend out-of-pocket, and they have to spend a lot. Our estimate is that to get quality child care, the average family would have to spend 13 percent of their income, more than they spend on food.

But even this spending isn’t enough to ensure an adequate supply of child care. The United States has a severe child care shortage. Roughly half of Americans live in “child care deserts,” areas where there’s only one daycare spot for every three kids. The child care centers that do exist are often in disrepair, operating on razor-thin margins, with workers whose wages keep them at the edge of poverty. About ninety percent of child care workers are women, and disproportionately women of color. They make, on average, $27,000 a year, which puts “child care worker’ in the bottom two percent of occupations. Many rely on social services to make ends meet.

The free market works well in many different sectors, but child care is not one of them. It does not work for the caregivers. It does not work for the parents. It does not work for the kids. And because it does not work for them, it does not work for the country.

Child care is a textbook example of a broken market, and one reason is that when you pay for it, the price does not account for all the positive things it confers on our society. An enormous body of economic literature finds that kids with access to quality child care end up in school longer and in higher-paying jobs afterward. When we underinvest in child care, we forego that; we give up a happier, healthier, more prosperous labor force in the future.

In fact, we forego one today too. The Vice President is exactly right: The lack of child care leads so many parents – mostly mothers – to drop out of the workforce. It was true even before the pandemic. One study found that from 2018 to 2019, 2 million parents of young children had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of problems with child care. (Indeed, looking back, I am not sure whether I would be here, in this job today, if I didn’t have an excellent babysitter 40 years ago.)

It’s past time that we treat child care as what it is – an element whose contribution to economic growth is as essential as infrastructure or energy. And that’s exactly what President Biden and Vice President Harris have done in designing their economic proposals, many of which are now moving through Congress during the reconciliation process. Enacting them is the single most important thing we can do to build a stronger economy over the next several decades.

Thank you all for coming today, and if you have a moment, please do take a look at “The Economics of Child Care” report. It’s a worthwhile read.

A link to the full report is here.

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