RC: Reflecting on the last 12-18 months, what do you believe are the main sanctions-related challenges facing companies in today’s global market? Which regions have become sanctions hotspots?

Mebane: The primary sanctions-related challenges facing companies in today’s global market are the evolving and dynamic geopolitical landscapes in the US, as well as Cuba, Russia and Iran, which present challenges for foreign businesses operating or considering operating in these countries. Given the uncertainty with foreign policy changes and impact in the US with the recent presidential election, including whether Russia is deemed an ally or adversary by the new administration, to the recent passing of Fidel Castro and the unknown approach by which Raul Castro will govern Cuba, and respond to declarations made by president-elect Trump regarding the US relationship with Cuba, companies will need to remain agile to adapt to this unpredictability. Although we have witnessed an evolution of trade restrictions within the last two years, these changes do not dissolve the complexities, particularly, the compliance and commercial challenges that remain for companies. Businesses must continue to thoughtfully assess those opportunities and adhere to the boundaries that remain in place.

Jan-Mar 2017 Issue

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