Trump signs ‘se­ri­ously flawed’ Rus­sia sanc­tions bill

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day signed what he called a “se­ri­ously flawed’’ bill im­pos­ing new sanc­tions on Rus­sia, pres­sured by his Repub­li­can Party not to move on his own to­ward a warmer re­la­tion­ship with Moscow in light of Rus­sian ac­tions.

The leg­is­la­tion is aimed at pun­ish­ing Moscow for in­ter­fer­ing in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and for its mil­i­tary ag­gres­sion in Ukraine and Syria, where the Krem­lin has backed Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad. The law also im­poses fi­nan­cial sanc­tions against Iran and North Korea.

Trump said the law will “pun­ish and de­ter bad be­hav­iour by the rogue regimes in Tehran and Py­ongyang’’ and en­hance ex­ist­ing sanc­tions on Moscow.

The pres­i­dent had been re­luc­tant to pro­ceed with the bill, even af­ter it was re­vised to in­clude some changes that Amer­i­can and Euro­pean com­pa­nies sought to en­sure that business deals were not sti­fled by new sanc­tions. Trump has ex­pressed frus­tra­tion over Congress’ abil­ity to limit or over­ride the power of the White House on na­tional se­cu­rity mat­ters, say­ing that it is com­pli­cat­ing ef­forts to co-or­di­nate with al­lies _ a sen­ti­ment he ex­pressed in Wed­nes­day’s state­ment.

Last week, the House over­whelm­ingly backed the bill, 419-3, and the Se­nate rapidly fol­lowed its lead on a 98-2 vote. Those mar­gins guar­an­teed that Congress would be able to beat back any at­tempt by Trump to veto the mea­sure.

The pres­i­dent said Wed­nes­day that he signed the bill “for the sake of na­tional unity.’’

“The bill re­mains se­ri­ously flawed _ par­tic­u­larly be­cause it en­croaches on the ex­ec­u­tive branch’s author­ity to ne­go­ti­ate,’’ Trump said. “By lim­it­ing the ex­ec­u­tive’s flex­i­bil­ity, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the Amer­i­can peo­ple, and will drive China, Rus­sia, and North Korea much closer to­gether.’’

Trump’s talk of ex­tend­ing a hand of co-oper­a­tion to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has been met with re­sis­tance as skep­ti­cal law­mak­ers look to limit his lee­way. The new mea­sure tar­gets Rus­sia’s en­ergy sec­tor as part of leg­is­la­tion that pre­vents Trump from eas­ing sanc­tions on Moscow with­out con­gres­sional ap­proval.

AP PHOTO

In this July 7, 2017, file photo, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump meets with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg. Trump signed on Aug. 2, what he called a “se­ri­ously flawed” bill im­pos­ing new sanc­tions on Rus­sia, pres­sured by his Repub­li­can Party not to move on his own to­ward a warmer re­la­tion­ship with Moscow in light of Rus­sian ac­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.