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Contents of the Treasury Notes blog, from www.treasury.gov.
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23 июля 2011, 21:56

Sunday Shows with Secretary Geithner

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This Sunday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will appear on ABC This Week with Christiane Amanpour, CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to discuss the state of the economy, the ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction and the need for Congress to enact a timely debt ceiling increase to avoid defaulting on the country’s obligations. As he made clear in a press conference on Capital Hill last week, "We don't have much time; it's time we move." Make sure to tune in tomorrow morning.

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21 июля 2011, 17:46

Neal Wolin on the Dodd-Frank Act, One Year Later

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On the one-year anniversary of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Deputy Treasury Secretary will be on Capitol Hill this morning testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. He will focus on how Dodd-Frank’s core reforms are strengthening safeguards for consumers and investors, and providing the necessary tools for limitingrisk in the financial markets. "These reforms were an obligation, not a choice. Without them, we could not build the financial system we need—a financial system with the stability and the resilience necessary to support our economy and protect it in times of stress," Wolin says in submitted testimony. "Our country needs a financial system that is stronger and more robust, and also promotes innovation, fosters growth, and creates jobs—a system that channels capital effectively to businesses and to consumers." Watch the hearing live at 10:00 AM ET. And yesterday afternoon, on the eve of the one-year anniversary, Wolin sat down with Lisa Murphy of Bloomberg TV: Lisa Murphy, Bloomberg: In terms of the current implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, what grade would you give it, or how much progress have you made versus what your expectations were a year ago? Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Treasury: I'd give us a strong grade, Lisa. I think that we have done an awful lot of work in the year since enactment. This is a statute that put ourselves in a place where we can have a much stronger, safer financial system thatbrought our derivatives markets out of the dark and, for the first time ever, created a consumer protection agency. We have done enormousamounts in the year since enactment to make that a reality. Obviously, it is important that we get that work done right and done properly. We have taken enormous care in consulting with a wide range of stakeholders tomake sure that we get all the input that is appropriate. But I think with respect to creating the framework to end 'too big to fail,' to make sure that taxpayers don't bail out failed firms, to put in place a set of reforms that require firms to hold higher capital and have less leverage which are critical to making sure that we have a stronger, safer financial system to rest on and in terms of creating consumer protection that allows people to make sure they understand the basic choices they have in the marketplace - an awful lot of progress has been made on all of those critically important fronts. Watch the full interview. And yesterday evening, he appeared on PBS Nightly Business Report with Darren Gersh: Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Treasury: In this country we shouldn`t have to choose between a strong financial system and one that allows our country to grow. We need both of those things, because the worst thing we could have of all is a financial system that led us to the crisis and to the brink of the abyss that we had before. And so we will, of course, be mindful as we continue to implement this statute in its various pieces that we need to have a financial system that does cause us to have and allows us to have an economy that is strong and grows. Watch the full interview. Related: Approaching the One Year Anniversary of the Landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Secretary Geithner's op-ed "A Dodd-Frank Retreat Deserves a Veto"

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20 июля 2011, 17:36

"A Dodd-Frank Retreat Deserves a Veto"

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In an op-ed in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner discusses how the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is helping rebuild a stronger pro-growth, pro-investment financial system. On the eve of the one-year anniversary the enactment of the Act, Secretary Geithner makes clear that the Obama Administration will stand against those who are trying to slow down and weaken Dodd-Frank’s new rules of the road, starve regulatory agencies of resources, and block nominations so that they can ultimately kill reform. As Treasury Secretary, he will recommend that the President veto any legislation passed by Congress that would undermine the vital financial protections included in Dodd-Frank. Read the piece online or below: A Dodd-Frank Retreat Deserves a Veto Only six congressional Republicans crossed the aisle to support reform one year ago. The GOP is still working to thwart change. By Tim Geithner Two and a half years ago, with our country on the edge of a second Great Depression, we met with the president in the White House to discuss whether to move in those first months of his administration to legislate fundamental reform of the financial system—or wait until we had put the crisis behind us. The president made two key decisions. First, he chose to move forward, knowing that the forces of opposition to reform would grow stronger as the memory of the crisis receded. And second, he asked us to write draft legislation rather than propose broad principles. The president did not want the new rules to end up being written by those who brought us to the edge of catastrophic financial failure. In June 2009, the administration submitted to Congress a proposal that would fundamentally reshape the financial system. It was designed to lay a stronger foundation for innovation, economic growth and job creation with robust protections for consumers and investors and tough constraints on risk-taking. We drew on ideas and insights from reform-oriented thinkers across the political spectrum. As the Democratic Chairmen of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee Chris Dodd and Barney Frank initiated negotiations on the bill, we expected backing from both sides of the aisle. Even after that proved impossible in the House, where reform passed initially without a single Republican vote, we remained hopeful that common-sense efforts would garner bipartisan backing. But senior Republican negotiators on the Senate Banking Committee were unable or unwilling to define a core set of reforms they could support. Ultimately, Dodd-Frank passed with only six Republican votes. Where are we today, a year since the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law? By almost any measure, the U.S. financial system is in much stronger shape, not just relative to the depth of the crisis but also relative to conditions that prevailed before it hit. We have recovered most of the investments the government made to put out the fires and avert disaster. While many misperceive the investment made in banks under the Troubled Asset Relief Program as an unfair and unjust gift to the financial sector, we have already turned a profit on these investments, and we may do so on all the government intervention programs. Moreover, these actions have helped to restart economic growth, increase the value of American families' savings by trillions of dollars, make it possible for businesses to borrow again, and prevent a second Great Depression. All financial crises are caused by too much leverage, and by reducing leverage, we have taken the most important step toward diminishing the risk of future crises. We have forced the largest financial institutions to take less risk and to hold much stronger financial cushions against the commitments they make. Our banking regulators have reached global agreement on new capital standards that require the world's largest financial firms to hold roughly three times more capital relative to risk than before the crisis. And for the first time, we have the ability to extend these types of limits on risk-taking to firms that may not call themselves banks but could still pose catastrophic risk to the economy were they to fail. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the banking regulators have outlined the major elements of reforms to bring oversight, transparency and greater stability to the $600 trillion derivatives market. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has developed new tools to safely unwind or break up large nonbank institutions that fail in the future, without exposing the taxpayer to any risk of loss. This framework, together with the tougher capital requirements, derivatives reforms, and the limits in the law on future bailouts will make our system more resilient in crisis. They will also help curb the expectation that taxpayers will in the future step in to save the financial industry from its mistakes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already proposed new ways to simplify disclosure of mortgage and credit-card loans so that consumers can shop for the best terms and be protected from abusive and predatory practices. And the president has selected former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to serve as the bureau's first director, building upon the powerful legacy that Prof. Elizabeth Warren has established in setting up the agency. Finally, we have started the process of winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reforming the overall mortgage market. We are implementing reform quickly but carefully, and we are taking public input at each step of the way. Because this is complicated work, and because it entails extensive coordination with multiple agencies around the world, some rules are being written more quickly than others. Where we need more time to get the substance right, we will take the time we need. There is still a great deal of work to do to repair the damage caused by the crisis, and to implement the full framework of reforms. Ultimately, success will depend on making sure that we can write sensible rules that promote the health of the broader economy instead of the interests of individual firms—and that those charged with enforcing these rules have the resources and the talented people they need to do their job. As we move forward, however, many of those who fought reform during the legislative process are now trying to slow down and weaken rules, starve regulatory agencies of resources, and block nominations so that they can ultimately kill reform. We will not let that happen. Too many Americans are still suffering from the pain of the financial crisis. We owe them a financial system with better protections against abuse and catastrophic risk. As secretary of the Treasury, I will recommend that the president veto any legislation passed by Congress that would undermine these vital financial protections. Mr. Geithner is the U.S. secretary of the Treasury.

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19 июля 2011, 20:26

Making History: $142.3 Million for 155 Communities Nationwide

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In the single largest round of awards in the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund's history, Treasury will distribute a total of $142,302,667 to 155 financial institutions serving economically distressed communities across the United States. CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell joined Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Danny Davis in Chicago yesterday to make the historic announcement. The awards, made through the fiscal year 2011 round of the CDFI Fund’s cornerstone program, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, were given to organizations headquartered in 40 states and the District of Columbia and touch rural and urban communities alike. They will help specialized community-based financial institutions like the Fulton-Carrol Center, a small business incubator that houses almost 120 entrepreneurs, spur local economic growth and expand access to affordable financial products and services. This 410,000-square foot small business incubator on the Near West side of Chicago served as the backdrop for yesterday's national award announcement. It's just one of the many examples of how CDFIs can play a critical role in helping small business owners spur job creation and economic growth in economically distressed communities across the country. As Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin said, “Every community deserves to have access to basic financial products and services, from bank accounts to affordable home and car loans. The CDFI Program provides access to rural and urban communities across the country by investing in local financial institutions that serve these communities.” In Chicago, the organizations receiving these awards are doing exactly that. Because of these funds, they will be eligible for larger loans from major banks, which they can then use to make below-market loans to non-profit projects like a charter elementary school, affordable rental housing and a savings and loan association that works with local small businesses. For more information on the CDFI Program, please visit www.cdfifund.gov. Sandra Salstrom is Spokesperson for Tax, Budget, and Economic Policy.

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18 июля 2011, 20:06

A Director for the CFPB

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Yesterday, the President announced his intent to nominate Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In response to the announcement, Secretary Tim Geithner said: “As Ohio’s Attorney General and while at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray has earned a reputation as one of America's strongest advocates for the interests of consumers. He is an effective leader who is committed to making sure American families and consumers have all the necessary tools to make the best possible choices. We are grateful that he has agreed to take on this important position and know he will build upon the powerful legacy that Professor Elizabeth Warren has established at the CFPB. Professor Warren has done an outstanding job at standing up this agency and has been a tremendous asset to us all during the Bureau’s first year. She has helped initiate critical work to simplify mortgage disclosure, improve credit card transparency and shield military families from predatory lenders and has done the agency a great service in recruiting top talent to take the CFPB and its mission forward.” And this afternoon, President Obama will make it official at a press conference with Secretary Geithner, Elizabeth Warren, and, of course, Richard Cordray. Watch it at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live at 1:05 pm ET.  Also: Elizabeth Warren's White House blog post on the announcement.

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16 июля 2011, 02:56

Approaching the One Year Anniversary of the Landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

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It has almost been a year since President Obama signed into law the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to fix the flaws in America’s financial system, strengthen the long-term health of the economy, and safeguard American consumers.   As the law’s one year anniversary approaches, Treasury is moving quickly but carefully to implement its reforms. On Monday, Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin wrote about this in a Politico op-ed:   “A year ago, our challenge was to enact reform on behalf of the American people — to enact real reform that addressed real problems. Today, our challenge is to make sure these reforms remain robust, long-lasting and dynamic.” Read the op-ed.   The reforms included in Dodd-Frank were enacted in the wake of the most devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the depths of the crisis, the economy was shedding an average of 800,000 jobs per month.  American families lost trillions in savings and equity.  Credit was frozen.  Financial markets were barely functioning.    Assistant Secretary Mary Miller discussed the necessity of Wall Street Reform at SIFMA’s Regulatory Reform Summit on Wednesday.  She also spoke about the past year of progress in reforming our financial markets, what lies ahead, and the importance of implementing these new rules of the road to drive economic growth and stability.   “As we work to carry out the Dodd-Frank Act, we are mindful that in order for the U.S. to remain a desirable place to invest, we must put in place a framework that restores integrity in our financial markets and engenders the trust and confidence of not just Americans, but also investors around the world. The reputation of our financial system is at stake.” Read her full remarks.   Over the past year, Treasury has worked diligently to implement these landmark reforms, including efforts to stand up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR).   On Thursday, Senior Advisor Elizabeth Warren testified before Congress where she highlighted just a portion of the work done to stand up the CFPB, including the Know Before You Owe Mortgage Disclosure Project and the establishment of the Office of Servicemember Affairs. She told the committee:   “We think every consumer should have the information they need to answer two basic questions: ‘Can I afford this?’ and ‘Isthis the best deal I can get?’ That’s how markets are supposed to work, and that’s where this new agency is headed.” Read her full testimony here.   Also yesterday, Richard Berner, who has been asked by Secretary Geithner to set up the OFR, testified on the Hill about progress to date. He told the committee that “put simply, we aim to create the ‘connective tissue’ needed to fill gaps in both information and analytics.” He concluded by saying:   “Better data and analysis cannot prevent financial shocks, but we believe our efforts will help policymakers and market participants understand their origins, and thus help reduce their frequency and magnitude.  Those efforts will continue to deliver on our mandate to improve the quality, integrity, and availability of financial data and to promote and produce research that helps us identify and address threats to financial stability.” Read his full testimony.   For additional information about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, check out the following fact sheets:   Just the Facts: A Safer, More Stable Financial SystemThe Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act​

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15 июля 2011, 01:06

Geithner: "We don't have much time; it's time we move."

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Just minutes ago, after a meeting on the Hill with members of the Senate Democratic Caucus to discuss ongoing efforts to avoid defaulting on the country's obligations and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made a brief statement to the press: Secretary Tim Geithner: Thank you, Mr. Leader. Thanks for giving me a chance to come up here and talk through these problems and how we solve them. There is unanimity in that room that we are a country that meets its obligation, we are a country that pays our bills and that we'll act and do what's necessary to make sure that we can maintain that commitment. As the Majority Leader said, we have looked at all available options and we have no way to give Congress more time to solve this problem and we are running out of time. And the eyes of the country are on us, and the eyes of the world are on us and we need to make sure we stand together and send a definitive signal that we are going to take the steps necessary to avoid default and also take advantage of this opportunity to make some progress in dealing with our long-term fiscal problems. We don't have much time; it's time we move. Thank you very much. Watch here.

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14 июля 2011, 22:07

Treasury Focuses on Revitalizing America’s Cities

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Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the White House Blog. On July 7, 2011 the U.S. Department of the Treasury hosted a symposium to discuss economic revitalization through investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The event was a partnership between the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and Living Cities, and the focus was on the role of CDFIs in the Living Cities Integration Initiative. The CDFI Fund supports financial institutions that provide loans, investments, and technical assistance to underserved communities. Since its creation has awarded $1.11 billion to community development organizations and financial institutions. It has awarded allocations of New Markets Tax Credits, which will attract private-sector investments totaling $26 billion, including $1 billion of special allocation authority to be used for the recovery and redevelopment of the Gulf Opportunity Zone. Living Cities is a collaborative of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions who are working to revitalize American cities. The Integration Initiativewill provide $85 million in grants, below-market interest rate loans and commercial debt to spur public-private partnerships in Baltimore, MD, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Newark, NJ, and the Twin Cities region of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. In each community, the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors have agreed to tackle critical issues impeding access of low-income residents to education, housing, health care, transit, and jobs. CDFIs play a pivotal role in the Integration Initiative. Living Cities' members from the financial services sector are providing the CDFIs with $55 million in commercial debt, and the Living Cities Catalyst Fund is providing an additional $16 million in below-market rate loans. Those in attendance included: Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy, White House Domestic Policy Council; Michael Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, White House Office of Public Engagement; The Honorable Rosie Rios, Treasurer of the United States, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Donna J. Gambrell, Director, CDFI Fund, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Ben Hecht, Chief Executive Officer, Living Cities; and other federal officials from the Departments of Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Transportation, the Small Business Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Tricia Kerney-Willis works at Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

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14 июля 2011, 18:17

The Twin Cities: Innovation at Work

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“Innovation at work” could be the slogan for Minnesota’s business community, as we learned during Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard’s recent visit to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. With 20 Fortune 500 firms and nearly half a million small businesses, the state is home to a myriad of leading innovators. Under Secretary Brainard was in the twin cities last week for the latest in a series of conversations with manufacturers and business leaders around the country about the state of the U.S. economy, the global recovery and how the Obama Administration’s policies—at home and abroad—can better support American workers and businesses. On this particular visit, Under Secretary Brainard heard a recurring theme – Minnesotans are constantly looking for ways to incorporate innovative thinking into their corporate cultures and business models. That means working on a regional economic initiative to bolster competitiveness, and it means creating and utilizing new technologies to streamline work flow, improve products and win business. And just like the rest of the country, Minnesota’s firms and workers are increasingly focused on their ability to export goods and services to established and emerging markets in order to grow their companies and hire more people. Delkor Systems, based in Circle Pines, Minnesota, exemplifies this approach. Delkor manufactures packaging machinery and employs 115 people. Their primary export markets are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, and although their export business is still smaller than their domestic market, it has helped fuel their rapid growth. Their work with larger companies, such as Cargill, another Minnesota-based company Under Secretary Brainard visited, is also vital to their success, underscoring the interconnectedness of our economy. Under Secretary Brainard’s dialogue with business leaders and workers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region showcased the critical importance of innovation, R&D and continued American leadership in the global economy. And it made clear why the Administration has focused on efforts to support American businesses, expand exports and create jobs through efforts such as the National Export Initiative, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and other initiatives. We look forward to keeping this important dialogue going in the weeks and months ahead. Ann Doyle is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for International Affairs. [Photo Credit: Patrick Kelly on behalf of Enterprise Minnesota]

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14 июля 2011, 03:06

Women in Finance: Investing in the Economic Recovery

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Yesterday, more than 100 institutional investors, senior Administration officials and private sector leaders met in Treasury’s Cash Room for the second Women in Finance Symposium focusing on institutional investment. Following up on the first Women in Finance Symposium in March 2010 and Treasury’s Access to Capital Conference earlier this year, the Women in Finance Investment Symposium explored the crucial role of capital investment in economic growth and sustainability, entrepreneurship, and job creation in America and initiated a dialogue on how institutional investors are deploying capital and managing risk and how investment practices have changed post-financial crisis. Yesterday’s event brought together for panel discussions a new group of women who have risen to leadership roles in the institutional investment space. Women in senior positions at domestic public pension funds, corporate pension funds, savings plans, foundations, and endowments manage more than $2 trillion worth of assets in the U.S. – and the women who attended yesterday represent almost $700 billion of that sum. Recognizing the importance of women and women-owned businesses in the economic recovery, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation Sonal Shah announced on her panel yesterday that just this week, the StartUp America Partnership held the first meeting of its new Working Group on Women Entrepreneurs to identify and assist women entrepreneurs who are engaged in founding and running potentially high-growth or "gazelle" startups. The Working Group will seek to have a significant number of women entrepreneurs as members and will focus on: identifying the challenges and barriers that face women entrepreneurs; formulating solutions to those challenges and barriers; and, developing a plan of action and outreach, including best practices, to identify, engage and assist these women entrepreneurs through meaningful engagement with the private sector. After the conference concluded, we caught up with some of the attendees and panelists to hear what they thought:     Earlier: Treasurer Rosie Rios announces the symposium in a blog post last week.

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09 июля 2011, 23:17

Sunday Morning Coffee with Secretary Geithner (On Your TV)

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Tomorrow morning, Secretary Geithner will be on NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory and on CBS's Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer to talk about the economic issues facing our country, including the Administration's ongoing efforts to get our economy on sounder footing, spur job creation and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction as well the importance of enacting a timely debt limit increase. So check when the shows air (NBC and CBS) and tune in on Sunday morning.

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09 июля 2011, 02:06

Taking Cue from Treasury’s Sanctions, World’s Largest Container Shipping Firm Ends Business with Sanctioned Iranian Entity

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Last week, Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping firm, became the latest company to publicly announce that it is restricting its business with Iran in response to U.S. and international sanctions. Maersk was responding to Treasury’s June 23 designation of Tidewater Middle East Co., a port operating company owned by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that has been used for illicit IRGC shipments. Less than a week after we exposed Tidewater’s links to Iran’s proliferation activities, Maersk announced that it will no longer accept business to and from three Iranian ports where Tidewater operates: Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khomeini and Asaluyeh. Treasury welcomes Maersk’s decision to avoid the risk of doing business with this known IRGC-owned entity. The private sector has a natural business incentive to avoid the reputational risk of dealing with entities involved in Iran’s illicit activities. Other firms involved in the international shipping industry should follow Maersk’s lead. We designed the Tidewater action to further expose the IRGC’s central role in Iranian illicit conduct and its growing control over Iran’s legitimate economy – and also to identify entities that are closely linked to the IRGC so that the international community can take steps to protect against the risk of doing business with the IRGC. The private sector continues to play a critical role in ensuring that our sanctions have the appropriate targeted effect on those in the Iranian government that are perpetrating illicit conduct. Some of Iran’s most dangerous cargo continues to come and go in and out of Iran’s ports, and Maersk’s decision to restrict its business with Tidewater, rather than risk facilitating Iran’s illicit activities, underscores the critical role that the private sector plays in amplifying the effect of U.S. and international sanctions. As the Government of Iran has increasingly turned to the IRGC for key economic projects, Iran’s leadership has forced commercial entities that care about their international reputation to look exceedingly carefully at any business that could expose them to transactions with Iran’s illicit actors. We expect that other firms around the world will follow Maersk's lead in minimizing or eliminating their involvement with any entity known to be tied to the IRGC.  David S. Cohen is Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.