International Emergency Economic Powers Act
|Long title||An Act with respect to the powers of the President in time of war or national emergency.|
|Enacted by||the 95th United States Congress|
|Effective||December 28, 1977|
|Statutes at Large||91 Stat. 1625|
|Titles amended||50 U.S.C.: War and National Defense|
|U.S.C. sections created||50 U.S.C. ch. 35 § 1701 et seq.|
|United States Supreme Court cases|
|Dames & Moore v. Regan|
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Title II of Pub.L. 95–223, 91 Stat. 1626, enacted October 28, 1977, is a United States federal law authorizing the president to regulate international commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States.
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In the United States Code, the IEEPA is Title 50, §§1701–1707. The IEEPA authorizes the president to declare the existence of an "unusual and extraordinary threat... to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States" that originates "in whole or substantial part outside the United States." It further authorizes the president, after such a declaration, to block transactions and freeze assets to deal with the threat. In the event of an actual attack on the United States, the president can also confiscate property connected with a country, group, or person that aided in the attack.
The IEEPA falls under the provisions of the National Emergencies Act (NEA), which means that an emergency declared under the act must be renewed annually to remain in effect.
Curtailment of emergency executive powers
Congress enacted the IEEPA in 1977 to clarify and restrict presidential power during times of declared national emergency under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 ("TWEA"). Under TWEA, starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, presidents had the power to declare emergencies without limiting their scope or duration, without citing the relevant statutes, and without congressional oversight. The Supreme Court in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer limited what a president could do in such an emergency, but did not limit the emergency declaration power itself. A 1973 Senate investigation found (in Senate Report 93-549) that four declared emergencies remained in effect: the 1933 banking crisis with respect to the hoarding of gold, a 1950 emergency with respect to the Korean War, a 1970 emergency regarding the postal workers strike, and a 1971 emergency in response to the government's deteriorating economic and fiscal conditions. Congress terminated these emergencies with the National Emergencies Act, and then passed the IEEPA to restore the emergency power in a limited, overseeable form.
Unlike TWEA, IEEPA was drafted to permit presidential emergency declarations only in response to threats originating outside the United States. Beginning with Jimmy Carter in response to the Iran Hostage Crisis, presidents have invoked IEEPA to safeguard U.S. national security interests by freezing or "blocking" assets of belligerent foreign governments, or certain foreign nationals abroad.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13224 under IEEPA to block the assets of terrorist organizations. The President delegated blocking authority to federal agencies led by the U.S. Treasury. In October 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act which, in part, enhanced IEEPA asset blocking provisions under §1702(a)(1)(B) to permit the blocking of assets during the "pendency of an investigation." This statutory change gave the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control the power to block assets without the need to provide evidence of the blocking subject's wrongdoing nor to permit the blocking subject a chance to effectively respond to the allegations in court. Executing these blocking actions led to a series of legal cases challenging federal authority to indefinitely prevent charitable organizations from accessing their assets held in the United States.
On May 30, 2019, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would use IEEPA powers to introduce tariffs on Mexican exports in response to the national security threat of illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States.
As part of an ongoing trade war with China, on August 24, 2019, Trump tweeted that he “hereby ordered” US companies to start looking at alternatives to China on the basis of claimed powers under IEEPA. Trump, however, did not formally declare an emergency as required by IEEPA.
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- In 1983, financier Marc Rich was accused of violating the act by trading in Iranian oil during the Iran hostage crisis. He was one of many people pardoned by President Bill Clinton in his last days in office.
- On August 23, 2006, Javed Iqbal was arrested through the U.S. Department of the Treasury with a charge of conspiracy to violate the IEEPA for airing material produced by al-Manar (The Beacon) in New York City during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
- On December 16, 2009, it was announced that the U.S. Dept. of Justice reached a settlement with Credit Suisse over accusations that the bank assisted residents of IEEPA sanctioned countries to wire money in violation of the Act from 1995 to 2006. The settlement resulted in Credit Suisse forfeiting $536 million.
List of emergencies
|Starting year||Target country/region||Executive order||Basis of emergency||Scope|
|1979||Iran||12170||Iran hostage crisis||Property of the government of Iran and its instrumentalities|
|1994||Worldwide||12938||Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction||Property of persons that engage in or support proliferation|
|1995||Iran||12957||Actions and policies of the government||Various forms of commerce involving Iran|
|1995||Middle East||12947||Terrorist violence to disrupt the peace process||Property of Specially Designated Terrorists committing or supporting such violence|
|1995||Colombia||12978||Foreign narcotics traffic||Property of traffickers and their material supporters|
|1997||Sudan||13067||Actions and policies of the government||US-Sudan commerce generally|
|2001||Western Balkans||13219||Extremist violence and actions that obstruct the Dayton Agreement or UNSC Resolution 1244||Property of persons engaged in or providing support for such activities|
|2001||Worldwide||13222||Expiration of the Export Administration Act||Continuation of authority for all regulations previously authorized under the Act|
|2001||Worldwide||13224||Threat of terrorist attacks on the US and its nationals||Property of Specially Designated Global Terrorists that commit, threaten to commit or support terrorism, including al-Qaeda|
|2003||Zimbabwe||13288||Actions and policies of members of the government||Property of 77 government officials|
|2003||Iraq||13303||Obstacles to reconstruction||Property of officials and associates of the Saddam Hussein government, and of persons undermining stabilization efforts with violence. Continued as of May 22, 2017.|
|2004||Syria||13338||Various aggressive actions of the government||Property of persons involved in those actions|
|2006||Belarus||13405||Actions and policies of members of the government||Property of government officials and other persons involved in human rights abuses|
|2006||Democratic Republic of the Congo||13413||Violence and atrocities that threaten regional stability||Property of persons contributing to said violence|
|2007||Lebanon||13441||Actions to undermine the government||Various forms of commerce involving persons engaged in such actions|
|2008||North Korea||13466||Actions and policies of the government||Various forms of commerce involving North Korea and its nationals|
|2010||Somalia||13536||Deterioration of the security situation||Property of persons that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia|
|2011||Libya||13566||Extreme measures taken during the Libyan Civil War||Property of officials and associates of the Muammar Gaddafi government|
|2011||Worldwide||13581||Activities of transnational criminal organizations||Property of persons involved in such organizations|
|2012||Yemen||13611||Actions and policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen||Property of persons engaged in such actions. Continued as of May 16, 2017.|
|2014||Ukraine and Russia||13660||Actions and policies of persons engaged in the Ukraine crisis||Property of such persons. Continued as of March 6, 2017.|
|2014||Central African Republic||13667||Central African Republic conflict (2012–present)||Property of persons contributing to the conflict. Continued as of May 12, 2017.|
|2014||South Sudan||13664||Activities that threaten regional peace, security, or stability||Property of persons engaged in such activities. Continued as of April 3, 2017.|
|2015||Venezuela||13692||Human rights violations||Property of persons responsible for such violations. Continued as of March 8, 2017.|
|2015||Worldwide||13694||Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities||Property of persons responsible for or complicit in such activities. Continued as of April 1, 2017|
|2015||Burundi||13712||2015 Burundian unrest||Property of persons engaged in destabilizing activities. Continued as of November 22, 2016.|
|2017||Worldwide||13818||Serious human rights abuse and corruption||Property of designated persons engaged in such activities|
|2018||Worldwide||13848||Risk of foreign interference in US elections||Property of foreign persons determined to have participated in such interference|
|2018||Nicaragua||13851||Human rights abuses, destabilization and corruption under the Daniel Ortega government||Property of persons engaged in such activities|
|2019||Worldwide||13873||Vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services||Technology and services connected with a foreign adversary that pose a risk to the United States|
- Afghanistan (1999–2002 for harboring al-Qaeda)
- Côte d'Ivoire (2006–2016 regarding the First Ivorian Civil War)
- Haiti (1991–1994)
- Iraq (1990–2004 for invading Kuwait)
- Kuwait (1990–1991, while occupied by Iraq)
- Liberia (2001–2015 directed against President Charles G. Taylor)
- Libya (1986–2004 for sponsoring terrorism)
- Myanmar (1997–2016 against the policies of the military government)
- Nicaragua (1985–1990 for aggressive activities in Central America)
- Panama (1988–1990 for military coup by Manuel Noriega)
- Russia (2000–2012 to support the Megatons to Megawatts Program)
- Serbia and Montenegro (1992–2003 for sponsoring Serb nationalist groups)
- Sierra Leone (2001–2004 for human rights violations)
- South Africa (1985–1991 for maintaining apartheid)
- UNITA (1993–2003 for interfering with UN peacekeeping efforts)
- Casey, Christopher A.; et al. (March 20, 2019). The International Emergency Economic Powers Act: Origins, Evolution, and Use (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Jimmy Carter: "Presidential War Powers Bill Statement on Signing H.R. 7738 Into Law.," December 28, 1977". The American Presidency Project. University of California – Santa Barbara.
- 50 U.S. Code Chapter 35 – International Emergency Economic Powers| LII / Legal Information Institute. Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved on 2014-06-16.
- 50 U.S.C. §1701(a)
- 50 U.S.C. §1702(a)(1)(B)
- 50 U.S.C. §1702(a)(1)(C)
- H. Rep. No. 95-459, at 7 (1977) "[the TWEA] has become essentially an unlimited grant of authority for the President to exercise, at his discretion, broad powers in both the domestic and international economic arena, without congressional review. These powers may be exercised so long as there is an unterminated declaration of national emergency on the books, whether or not the situation with respect to which the emergency was declared bears any relationship to the situation with respect to which the President is using the authorities"
- Executive Order 6102
- Executive Proclamation 2914, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13684
- S. Rep. No. 93-549, at 2 (1973), http://www.ncrepublic.org/images/lib/SenateReport93_549.pdf
- 50 U.S.C. §1701(a)
- Executive Order 12170, 44 C.F.R. 65,729.
- Executive Order 12978, 60 C.F.R. 54,579 (1995) (blocking the assets of certain Colombian narcotics traffickers).
- Executive Order 13224, Sec. 1(a), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2001-09-25/pdf/01-24205.pdf
- KindHearts v. Geithner, 647 F. Supp. 2d 857, 866, ND Ohio 2009, https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10931539635102900344&hl=en&as_sdt=2,14&as_vis=1
- See e.g., id.
- "Trump to hit Mexico with tariffs to halt migrants". 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
- "Trump Asserts He Can Force U.S. Companies to Leave China". 2019-08-23. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
- KindHearts v. Geithner, supra
- USDOJ: Office of the Pardon Attorney: Clemency Recipients. Justice.gov. Retrieved on 2014-06-16.
- Williams, Timothy; Rashbaum, William K. (2006-08-25), "New York Man Charged With Enabling Hezbollah Television Broadcasts", The New York Times
- Press Release, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Credit Suisse Agrees to Forfeit $536 Million in Connection with Violations of the International Emergency Powers Act and New York State Law (Dec. 16, 2009) http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2009/December/09-ag-1358.html
- U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control, Sanctions Programs and Country Information http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx
- "Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Stabilization of Iraq". whitehouse.gov. 2017-05-16. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Yemen". whitehouse.gov. 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Obama extends sanctions against Russia imposed in March 2014 over situation in Ukraine". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Central African Republic". whitehouse.gov. 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Message to the Congress Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan". whitehouse.gov. 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Notice – Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela | Obama". Right.is. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- Williams, Martyn. "Trump extends Obama executive order on cyberattacks". Computerworld. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Burundi". www.jurist.org. Jurist. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- Bowman, Mary Margaret Coughlin (1978). "Presidential Emergency Powers Related to International Economic Transactions: Congressional Recognition of Customary Authority". Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. 11 (3): 515–534.
- Marks, Lee R.; Grabow, John C. (1982). "President's Foreign Economic Powers After Dames & Moore v. Regan: Legislation by Acquiescence". Cornell Law Review. 68 (1): 68–103.
- Meezan, David M. (1996). "Forgotten Rights: Takings Claims and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act". Vermont Law Review. 21 (2): 591–632.