President Trump today signed a bill passed by Congress last week, which imposes new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea (see previous blog). The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act restricts the President’s ability to lift sanctions without Congressional approval. President Trump’s statement on signing the Act makes the following remarks:
“…the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate… 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. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.
Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary… I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”
In response to the bill passing through Congress, Russia ordered the expulsion of 755 US diplomatic staff from the country.