Joint statement on second US-UK Strategic Sanctions Dialogue

The US and the UK have reaffirmed that sanctions and export controls are essential tools of national security policy.

On May 8, 2024, the UK government hosted a senior US government delegation for the second US-UK Strategic Sanctions Dialogue. 

The talks, which took place in London and followed the inaugural Dialogue held in Washington DC in July 2023, delivered on the commitment under the 2023 Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century US-UK Economic Partnership to strengthen coordination on sanctions and export controls.

The UK delegation was led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and included senior officials from His Majesty’s Treasury, and the Department for Business and Trade. The US delegation was led by the State Department and included senior officials from the US Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce. 

National security policy

In the Joint Statement, the US and the UK reaffirmed that sanctions and export controls are essential tools of national security policy. The delegations discussed the uses of targeted, coordinated sanctions and export control measures to deter and disrupt malign activity and to defend international norms. 

Both nations reaffirmed their commitment to imposing sanctions on Russia and to opposing those who threaten peace, security, and stability in the Middle East. The Joint Statement said this was reflected in recent coordinated actions targeting Iranian malign actors, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders and financiers, and those enabling Houthi Red Sea attacks.

Human rights

The US and the UK have continued to intensify their coordination on United Nations and autonomous sanctions regimes, bilaterally and with other partners. This includes action to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses, tackle corruption, counter terrorism, and weapons proliferation, and target cyber-criminal networks. 

In the Joint Statement, both nations said: “Across our programmes, we commit to continue to work together and with allies to ensure the effectiveness of our sanctions and export control measures.

“We will continue to collaborate to counter circumvention occurring in third country jurisdictions to strengthen our measures in support of shared national security and foreign policy goals.”

GRIP comment

The second US-UK Strategic Sanctions Dialogue Joint Statement is a positive sign for financial services firms that operate in both countries. It indicates that the US and UK are committed to working together to strengthen sanctions coordination, which can help to reduce uncertainty and make compliance easier for firms. 

The US-UK commitment to strengthening sanctions coordination extends to various areas including countering terrorism, corruption, and cybercrime. This means that financial services firms can expect more collaborative efforts to identify and target individuals and entities involved in these illegal activities. This could lead to new sanctions designations and stricter enforcement measures, requiring firms to enhance their compliance processes to stay on top of the evolving sanctions landscape.