Readout: Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson’s Visit to Oman

MUSCAT — Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson traveled to the Sultanate of Oman on January 29th to continue close coordination on countering illicit finance and other economic issues.

Under Secretary Nelson met with government officials, including H.E. Sheikh Khalifa al Harthy, Foreign Ministry Under Secretary for Diplomatic Affairs and H.E. Tahir bin Salim al Amir, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, to discuss continued partnership on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT) efforts, including through Oman’s membership in the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. They also discussed increasing investment opportunities and agreed upon the importance of a risk-based approach to addressing illicit finance.

Treasury Sanctions Officials and Military-Affiliated Cronies in Burma Two Years after Military Coup

Action Taken in Coordination with the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada

WASHINGTON – Today, on the day before the two-year anniversary of the brutal military coup d’état that deposed Burma’s democratically elected government, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating six individuals and three entities connected to Burma’s military regime pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014. This action will occur in conjunction with actions taken by both the United Kingdom and Canada.

On February 1, 2021, Burma’s military overthrew the democratically elected government and removed the civilian government leaders from power, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Over the past two years, the military has continued to use violence and oppression to deny the people of Burma the ability to choose their own leaders. Burma’s military regime has used its military aircraft to conduct aerial bombings and other attacks against pro-democracy forces, killing and displacing countless civilians.

“Two years after Burma’s military forcibly overthrew the democratically elected government of Burma, the United States, along with partner nations like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, continue to stand with the people of Burma as they seek freedom and democracy,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue to promote accountability for those who provide financial and material support to, and directly enable, the violent suppression of democracy in Burma.”

BURMESE GOVERNMENT ENTITIES

Following the 2021 coup, Burma’s military regime appointed new members to the UNION ELECTION COMMISSION (UEC) — including Thein Soe, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 on April 21, 2021 — to oversee a post-coup do-over vote after rejecting the results of the November 2020 democratic election. The UEC is the constitutionally mandated body that is responsible for election-related procedures and activities, including organizing, verifying, and announcing election results.

Additionally, the regime has continued to control and benefit from the extraction and export of natural resources of Burma and has utilized various state-owned entities (SOEs) that are fully owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) to act as joint venture partners, as well as regulators and policymakers. MINING ENTERPRISE NO 1, which was previously designated by the European Union on February 21, 2022, and MINING ENTERPRISE NO 2 are two such SOEs that play a dominant role in Burma’s mineral sector.

The UEC, Mining Enterprise No 1, and Mining Enterprise No 2 are being designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Burma.

BURMESE ENERGY OFFICIALS

Since the 2021 coup, Burma’s military regime has continued to benefit from the substantial revenue provided by the production and export of oil and gas, which generates over $1 billion in revenue annually and is the single largest source of foreign currency revenue for the regime. Burma’s Ministry of Energy is controlled by the State Administration Council, which was designated on April 21, 2021 pursuant to E.O. 14014; manages the energy sector; and controls the SOEs involved in the production of oil and gas, including the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

Myo Myint Oo is the Union Minister of Energy. The Union Minister of Energy represents the Government of Burma in international and domestic energy sector engagements, while also managing the state-owned entities involved in the production and export of oil and gas.

Aung Min is the Managing Director and Than Min is the Deputy Managing Director of MOGE. As managing director and deputy managing director, both individuals are directly involved in the day-to-day operations and management of the regime’s single largest revenue generating SOE.

Myo Myint Oo, Aung Min, and Than Min are being designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being or having been leaders or officials of the Government of Burma on or after February 2, 2021.

FORMER AND CURRENT BURMESE MILITARY OFFICIALS

Additionally, despite the international condemnation of the collateral damage caused by aerial attacks, Burma’s Air Force has continued to launch airstrikes against pro-democracy forces that have killed civilians and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people. General Maung Maung Kyaw, who was previously the head of Burma’s Air Force and was designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 on February 22, 2021, was replaced by Htun Aung, who was previously the Air Force’s Chief of Staff, on January 12, 2022.

Htun Aung is being designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being or having been a leader or official of the military or security forces of Burma.

Hla Swe is an ex-military official and a former lawmaker under the military-associated Union Solidarity and Development Party who has admitted to helping to provide training and secure arms for pro-regime militias. Hla Swe is considered the man behind a pro-regime publication that regularly publishes death threats against members of minority groups.

Hla Swe is being designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Burma.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BURMA’S MILITARY REGIME

Htoo Htwe Tay Za is the adult daughter of Tay Za, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 14014 on January 31, 2022. The Tay Za family, including Htoo Htwe Tay Za, are directors and shareholders of numerous subsidiaries and associated companies of Htoo Group of Companies, which was designated pursuant to E.O 14014 on March 25, 2022, including at least one subsidiary developing properties on land leased from the Burmese military.

Htoo Htwe Tay Za is being designated for being an adult child of Tay Za, a person whose property and interest in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14014.

On January 26, 2022, the U.S. government issued a business advisory to inform the public of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma, “Risks and Considerations for Businesses and Individuals with Exposure to Entities Responsible for Undermining Democratic Processes, Facilitating Corruption, and Committing Human Rights Abuses in Burma (Myanmar).”

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons named above that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

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 (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please refer to OFAC’s website.

For identifying information on the individuals sanctioned today, click here.

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Treasury Sanctions Three Fentanyl Traffickers Contributing to the U.S. Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the leader of a Mexico-based network and two associates pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059 for procuring precursor chemicals to manufacture and traffic illicit fentanyl and other synthetic drugs to the United States. Today’s action is the result of ongoing efforts by U.S. agencies to disrupt the importation into and distribution of illicit fentanyl within the United States. This action was coordinated closely with the government of Mexico and would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Illicit fentanyl has led to unprecedented overdose deaths in the United States, with a majority of these drugs flowing from Mexican cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel, using precursor chemicals from East Asia,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue working with the government of Mexico to disrupt this deadly trade.”

Today’s designation includes Mexican national Jose Angel Rivera Zazueta (Rivera Zazueta), the leader of a drug manufacturing and trafficking organization based in Culiacan, Sinaloa and Mexico City, Mexico. Rivera Zazueta’s network operates on a global scale with nodes in the United States, Mexico, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Rivera Zazueta imports precursor chemicals from China into Mexico, which are then used to manufacture synthetic drugs, including fentanyl, MDMA (ecstasy), crystal methamphetamine, 2C-B, and ketamine.

Rivera Zazueta has worked closely with OFAC-designated Chinese chemical transportation company Shanghai Fast-Fine Chemicals, which has shipped various, often falsely labeled, precursor chemicals to Drug Trafficking Organizations in Mexico for illicit fentanyl production intended for U.S. markets. OFAC designated Shanghai Fast Fine Chemicals on December 15, 2021, pursuant to E.O. 14059. Additionally, Rivera Zazueta is responsible for moving large quantities of cocaine from Colombia to the United States, Spain, Italy, Guatemala, Mexico, and other countries in Europe and Central America.

In addition to Rivera Zazueta, OFAC sanctioned his associates Nelton Santiso Aguila (Santiso Aguila), a Mexican national, along with Guatemalan national Jason Antonio Yang Lopez (Yang Lopez), for aiding in the procurement and importation of fentanyl precursor chemicals into Mexico for manufacturing, with the final product arriving in the United States.

OFAC designated Rivera Zazueta, Santiso Aguila, and Yang Lopez for having engaged in, or attempted to engage in, activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a significant risk of materially contributing to, the international proliferation of illicit drugs or their means of production pursuant to E.O. 14059.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these designated individuals 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. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 14059.

Today’s action is part of a whole-of-government effort to counter the global threat posed by the trafficking of illicit drugs into the United States that is causing the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans annually, as well as countless more non-fatal overdoses. OFAC, in coordination with its U.S. government partners and foreign counterparts, will continue to target and pursue accountability for foreign illicit drug actors.

U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. Consistent with the findings of Treasury’s 2021 Sanctions Review, the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under counter narcotics authorities who demonstrate a change in behavior and no longer engage in activities linked to international illicit drug trafficking or other sanctionable activity. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from any OFAC list, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897.

More information on the individuals designated today.

View a chart on the individuals designated today.

Statement from Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo on Implementation of Strong Inflation Reduction Act Worker Protections

Today, Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo released the following statement on the Inflation Reduction Act’s strong labor protections’ going into effect: 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to taking steps to make sure clean energy jobs are good-paying jobs and that American workers are ready to take on the opportunities created by the Inflation Reduction Act’s investments. Strong labor protections are now in place, and workers on these projects will see higher paychecks and more opportunities. This marks the first time that workers on projects supported by clean energy tax incentives will benefit from protections on pay that have long benefitted workers on projects supported by federal contracts. Treasury’s guidance to implement this critical piece of the Inflation Reduction Act ensures that workers benefit from the clean energy economy they are building.”  
 

Media Advisory: Under Secretary Brian Nelson to Travel to Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Türkiye

WASHINGTON — Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson will travel the week of January 29 to Muscat, Oman; Abu Dubai and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Ankara and Istanbul, Türkiye. At each stop, he will discuss Treasury’s efforts to crack down on Russian attempts to evade the international sanctions and export controls imposed for its brutal war against Ukraine, Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region, illicit finance risks undermining economic growth, and foreign investment. 

In Oman, Under Secretary Nelson will meet with counterparts to discuss cooperation on countering illicit finance, including terrorist financing.

In the UAE and Türkiye, Under Secretary Nelson will meet with government counterparts as well as businesses and financial institutions to convey that Treasury will continue to aggressively enforce its sanctions, and individuals and institutions operating in permissive jurisdictions risk potentially losing access to G7 markets on account of doing business with sanctioned entities or not conducting appropriate due diligence to guard against illicit finance risks.
 

 

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at Roundtable with Nkangala Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in Emalahleni, South Africa

As Prepared for Delivery

It is a pleasure to be here today in Emalahleni, “the place of coal,” in some ways the epicenter of South Africa’s Just Energy Transition. Thank you all for the opportunity to meet with you.

I want to thank Premier Refilwe Mtweni-Tsipane and Executive Mayor Nomveliso Nyukwana for their leadership and support for the Just Energy Transition.

The work that you are doing here in Emalahleni and in the broader Mpumalanga Province is important for laying the foundation for a successful transition to a cleaner energy system in South Africa.

We fully recognize that transitioning the local economy and the economy of South Africa to clean energy will not be without challenges.

But the investments that our governments and the private sector will make over the coming years in wind, solar, battery storage, and non-energy infrastructure will pay dividends in terms of well- paying jobs and a growing and cleaner economy.

They will also bring cleaner air for you and your children.

Workers are the core of a just transition, and I am so pleased to be able to meet with some of the individuals who are committed to working for South Africa’s sustainable future.

In the United States, we are also going through a transition. We were able to pass a massive set of laws designed to invest in the infrastructure of the future and allow us to meet our climate goals.

These investments will yield important returns, particularly as we consider workers’ livelihoods at every stop along the way.

Last September, Presidents Ramaphosa and Biden met in Washington and reaffirmed their commitment to the South Africa Just Energy Transition Partnership, or JETP.

This program is a first-of-its-kind partnership that mobilizes the resources of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union to help South Africa achieve the energy transition goals it has identified.

The financial package of $8.5 billion is a substantial down payment. Importantly, it is designed to mobilize additional money from the private sector and philanthropies, and I will meet with representatives from both groups later today.

The JETP Investment Plan drafted by South Africa highlights the need for specific programming in Mpumalanga Province, the largest coal-producing region in South Africa.

The Plan calls for job retraining and reskilling, cash payments to support displaced workers while they find new employment, redevelopment of former coal mines and coal power plants as clean energy production sites and other productive uses.

And it also calls for investment in non-energy infrastructure, including roads, rail, ports, and digital infrastructure that will support new industries.

The United States’ commitment to the energy transition being “just” is firm. That is why President Biden made an additional commitment to President Ramaphosa of $45 million in grant funding to support South Africa’s efforts.

Through our various agencies, including the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, USAID, Power Africa, the International Development Finance Corporation, and the Departments of State, Energy, and Treasury, we are identifying the highest-value opportunities for investing our resources to help achieve these goals.

Our success also depends on committed South Africans such as yourselves. Your hard work to get to where you are, ready and capable of participating fully in the clean energy economy will benefit not only yourselves and your families, but also the whole community of Mpumalanga and South Africa.

I want to applaud you for your achievements thus far in being at the forefront of the economy of the future, and also applaud the leadership of Premier Mtweni-Tsipane. I look forward to all that you will accomplish and to learning more during our conversation.

 

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen to Press at Nkangala Technical and Vocational Education and Training College in Emalahleni, South Africa

As Prepared for Delivery

I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit Mpumalanga Province today to see first-hand the difference that South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Partnership can make in advancing an energy transition in communities like this and ensuring the transition delivers on the “just” promise.

The investments that our governments and the private sector are making in renewable energy will play a critical role in creating good-paying jobs and reliable sources of clean energy that will power South Africa’s economic growth.

The United States is committed to the South Africa JETP, and we are committed to a transition that is “just” for the communities and workers that are affected.

Facilitating a transition that leaves no one behind requires job retraining and reskilling like we saw today. It also requires the redevelopment of former fossil fuel and power sites and investments in infrastructure to support the development of new industries and economic opportunities. That is exactly what the United States is committed to do.

The JETP and the initial $8.5 billion financial package from South Africa’s international partners – including the United States – is a demonstration of our support for South Africa as it launches a transition that will grow its economy for the future, expand employment opportunities, capitalize on growing new industries, and improve health outcomes.

Seeing the programs here in Mpumalanga today gives me confidence in South Africa’s commitment to capitalize on this opportunity, and the U.S. will stand alongside and support South Africa in the years to come.

 

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at Lunch with Local and International Philanthropies on South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP)

As Prepared for Delivery

I want to start by thanking you and your organizations for being here today and for demonstrating your commitment to South Africa’s just energy transition toward renewable sources.

An energy transition that is not just will simply not work. Equally important, however, is the imperative to seize the new opportunities that the transition will offer, keeping a worker-centered perspective in mind at all stages.

Indeed, I think we all see both the tremendous need and opportunity for reform of the energy sector in a way that lifts up impacted communities and strengthens sustainable economic growth. That is, in large part, why we joined international partners in creating the Just Energy Transition Partnership or JETP with South Africa.

The United States is firmly committed to this engagement. We have pledged to mobilize over $1 billion from across our government over the next three to five years to achieve the just energy transition priorities that the South Africans identified in their JETP Investment Plan.

South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan is the result of a year’s work. It identifies some $98 billion in necessary investments in clean energy and programming to support the “just” transition over the long term, as well as investment in green hydrogen infrastructure and electric vehicle manufacturing.

It is the “just” element of the transition that I want to focus on today, and where we want to collaborate with you closely. The success of the JETP will not be possible unless we support the coalminers and coal mining communities as they transition to new economic activities.

Our South African partners have identified “just” investments of over 60 billion rand, or about

$3.5 billion, for the Mpumalanga [em-POO-mah-lahng-uh] Region, which is where I was this morning touring a US-funded renewable energy job training facility for women.

These investments cover a range of activities, including funding to support local communities and develop supply chains for new energy technologies; remediating and repurposing coal mining land; improving non-energy infrastructure; and partnering with the coal workforce through job reskilling, mobility payments, and temporary income support for displaced workers.

Indeed, we must demonstrate quickly that these coal communities, which are already struggling with unemployment, poverty and the health impacts of coal mining and emissions, will not be left behind in the context of an energy shift that benefits other regions. South Africa will need to see concrete action soon to keep up momentum on the JETP.

In recognition of this importance, President Biden went beyond our initial JETP commitment to pledge an additional $45 million focused specifically on the “just” element of the transition. As the Investment Plan lays out though, much more will be needed.

At COP27, many of the organizations represented here today pledged to invest $500 million in low- and middle-income countries with ambitious energy transition plans. South Africa fits that bill perfectly and many of you have long histories investing in these very communities we hope to support alongside you.

We would like to understand how you are thinking about extending support in the context of the ambitious JETP here in South Africa, where the transition is already at hand and the needs are urgent. I’ll start by asking: how can we work together to achieve the greatest impact for the people of South Africa?

Thank you and I’m looking forward to hearing your perspectives.

 

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at Ford Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for that introduction. And thank you for having me here today at Ford. It’s great to be at an American business in South Africa. This factory is a strong example of how deepening economic integration between the U.S. and South Africa — and the continent more broadly — can produce good jobs and boost economic growth for both of us.

I began this trip in Senegal. There, I explained that the United States’ strategy toward Africa is centered around a simple recognition: that Africa will shape the future of the global economy. And I explained that the United States is ready to work with Africa as an equal partner — defined not by what we can do for each other, but rather what we can do with each other.

We know that a thriving Africa is in the interest of the United States. A thriving Africa means a larger market for our goods and services. It means more investment opportunities for our businesses, like this Ford plant, which can create jobs in Africa and customers for American businesses. And it means that more Americans can benefit from the dynamism and creativity of people in Africa.

A key pillar of the U.S. strategy toward Africa is boosting mutually beneficial trade and investment. The United States is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner and a major destination for South African investment. In turn, South Africa is our largest trading partner in Africa. In the coming years, we intend to build on that strong foundation to promote even deeper economic integration here, as well as with other African countries.

Indeed, the United States sees tremendous economic potential in Africa. Across the continent, people are becoming more connected to the world than at any other time in history. Importantly, Africa is undergoing a significant demographic boom. By 2050, Africans are projected to make up a quarter of the world’s population. Africa’s working-age population is rapidly growing at a time when other regions face the challenges of aging populations. This presents an extraordinary economic opportunity.

Our work to boost trade and investment begins with facilitating business between Americans and Africans. For over two decades, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the United States has provided eligible Sub-Saharan countries with duty-free access to our market for thousands of products. South Africa was the biggest beneficiary of this arrangement last year. And since 2021, the United States has helped close more than 800 trade and investment deals in Africa — totaling $18 billion.

Some of America’s biggest companies are doubling down on their commitments in Africa. As you know, Ford recently began production of vehicles made possible by its $1 billion investment here in South Africa. Technology companies like Cisco, manufacturing companies like General Electric, and financial firms like Visa have also made new announcements. We believe that leadership in the industries of the future requires close partnership with companies and people in Africa.

Prosperity in Africa also requires promoting more trade within Africa. As Africa’s middle class grows, the continent will become a bigger market for its own goods and services. Trade between African countries has the potential to boost good jobs and economic opportunity. And it enables more Africans to benefit from the innovations of their neighbors. That’s why the United States strongly supports the African Continental Free Trade Area. Estimates indicate that this Free Trade Area could boost real income by roughly 9 percent by 2035.

As we deepen our economic ties, we believe that sustained trade and investment depends on continued economic development. Trade requires quality roads and bridges; businesses cannot operate in the 21st century without reliable broadband and electricity; and a skilled workforce requires quality education and training.

Africa’s infrastructure gap is estimated at over $100 billion annually. To invest in global infrastructure, the G7 has announced a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. This initiative aims to mobilize $600 billion into a variety of quality infrastructure projects by 2027 — including in Africa. Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Development Finance Corporation, the United States has over ten billion dollars of active commitments and programs in Africa, in areas from telecommunications to renewable energy production. And I have personally convened the multilateral development banks to urge them to step up policy and technical assistance – as well as financing – in infrastructure.

Last month, President Biden announced an initiative on digital transformation. We intend to invest over $350 million and facilitate over $450 million in financing for this continent. Funds will go toward expanding Internet access as well as enabling a vibrant digital ecosystem through digital skills and literacy. Strengthening Africa’s digital economy has the potential to unlock innovation, particularly by leveraging the talents of young workers that are early adopters of technology.

Let me be clear: we do not take our investments lightly. Our projects and partnerships are motivated by our mutually beneficial, long-term partnership. That’s why we have rigorous accountability, transparency, and technical standards. And that’s why we assist countries with policy reform and capacity building.  We believe these steps help attract private sector investment and deliver better economic returns. We know that people in Africa are interested in economic arrangements that are fair and open – ones that produce projects that are high quality and sustainable over the long term. And we also share a recognition of the importance of strong, open, and accountable institutions that deliver well for people and businesses. 

I’ve spoken about why U.S. integration with Africa is important for our economic interests. Let me speak briefly about how it furthers our security interests as well.

Over the past three years, we have seen how disruptions in one part of the world can shake the global economy. COVID-19 brought the world’s economic activity to a standstill. Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine has raised energy prices and exacerbated food insecurity. These shocks have taught us about the importance of secure and resilient supply chains.

As we continue to vigorously promote global economic integration, the United States is pursuing “friendshoring” policies aimed at mitigating vulnerabilities in supply chains. We are addressing the over-concentration of the production of critical goods in certain markets — particularly those that may not share our economic values. To do so, we are deepening economic integration with the many countries that we can count on. That includes our many trusted trading partners on this continent — like South Africa. We believe that this policy can help increase the resilience of both our economies.

Success in Africa means success for all of us. A thriving Africa helps support a thriving America. The United States is committed to working with you to deepen our ties: not for show, not for the short-term — but for the long haul.

Thank you for having me.

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READOUT: Deputy Secretary Adeyemo Convenes Roundtable Discussion on How IRS Modernization Will Ensure a More Accessible IRS

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo led a roundtable discussion with more than 20 key stakeholders on IRS efforts to use resources provided by the Inflation Reduction Act to upgrade service for all taxpayers, including underserved communities, this tax filing season and improve accessibility and tax fairness over the coming decade.

During the conversation, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo highlighted how improvements to customer service on the phone, online, and in-person will benefit taxpayers from underserved communities, ensuring returns are processed more quickly and that taxpayers are able to access credits and benefits for which they are eligible in a timely manner. He also discussed ways in which a better-resourced IRS can make the tax code fairer by ensuring wealthy Americans and corporations can’t evade taxes they owe.

The Deputy Secretary and national advocates were joined by U.S. Treasury and IRS officials, including Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Lily Batchelder and Counselor for Racial Equity Janis Bowdler.

Yesterday’s roundtable was part of an ongoing series of convenings the Deputy Secretary has held since the IRA was passed in August. In addition to hearing from civil rights leaders and national advocates, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo has also convened roundtables with labor leaders, climate change organizations, renewable energy investors, and small businesses.