Text: S.1965 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/25/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[S. 1965 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1965

   To authorize actions with respect to foreign countries engaged in 
 illicit trade in tobacco products or their precursors, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 25, 2019

Mr. Wicker (for himself and Ms. Sinema) introduced the following bill; 
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To authorize actions with respect to foreign countries engaged in 
 illicit trade in tobacco products or their precursors, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Combating the Illicit Trade in 
Tobacco Products Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Financial Services, the 
                Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on the 
                Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and
                    (B) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
                Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the 
                Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.
            (2) Foreign person.--The term ``foreign person'' means a 
        person that is not a United States person.
            (3) Illicit trade in tobacco products or their 
        precursors.--The term ``illicit trade in tobacco products or 
        their precursors'' means any practice or conduct prohibited by 
        law that relates to production, shipment, receipt, possession, 
        distribution, sale, or purchase of tobacco products or their 
        precursors, including any practice or conduct intended to 
        facilitate such activity.
            (4) Person.--The term ``person'' means an individual or 
        entity.
            (5) United states person.--The term ``United States 
        person'' means--
                    (A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully 
                admitted for permanent residence to the United States; 
                or
                    (B) an entity organized under the laws of the 
                United States or of any jurisdiction within the United 
                States, including a foreign branch of such an entity.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The illicit trade in tobacco products or their 
        precursors is a multibillion dollar business that fuels 
        organized crime, fosters public corruption, undermines public 
        health goals, and finances terrorist groups that threaten 
        global security and stability.
            (2) According to an estimate by the World Health 
        Organization, one in every 10 cigarettes smoked is illegal.
            (3) The Center for Public Integrity states, ``while one 40-
        foot container of cigarettes (containing 10 million sticks) can 
        be produced in China for just $100,000, the street value of 
        such a container smuggled into the United States is up to $2 
        million.''.
            (4) According to the International Criminal Police 
        Organization (commonly known as ``Interpol''), the trade in 
        illicit cigarettes accounts for 11.6 percent of global 
        consumption, equaling 657,000,000,000 cigarettes a year.
            (5) According to the Department of State report entitled 
        ``The Global Illicit Trade in Tobacco: A Threat to National 
        Security'', cigarette smuggling enables corruption and 
        undermines good governance.
            (6) According to that Department of State report, illicit 
        trade in tobacco products or their precursors costs governments 
        and taxpayers between $40,000,000,000 and $50,000,000,000 
        annually in tax revenues.
            (7) According to that Department of State report, the 
        illicit trade in tobacco products or their precursors 
        facilitates other crimes and provides funding for additional 
        criminal activities, including money laundering, bulk cash 
        smuggling, and the trafficking in humans, weapons, drugs, 
        antiquities, diamonds, and counterfeit goods.
            (8) The report entitled ``Illicit Trade: Converging 
        Criminal Networks'' by the Organisation for Economic Co-
        operation and Development stated that cigarettes present a 
        high-profit margin and are among the most commonly traded 
        products on the black market due to the relative ease of 
        production and movement, along with low detection rates and 
        penalties.
            (9) According to the Department of State report entitled, 
        ``The Global Illicit Trade in Tobacco: A Threat to National 
        Security'', illicit trade in tobacco products or their 
        precursors can be transnational, with proceeds earned 
        domestically and sent overseas to finance attacks against 
        United States interests, or earned domestically by foreign 
        actors who can operate more easily from within the country.
            (10) The Center for the Analysis of Terrorism reports that 
        nearly 15 terrorist organizations throughout the world 
        regularly have recourse in large proportions to smuggling and 
        counterfeiting cigarettes to be financed, in particular the 
        Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-E-Taiba, Al-Qaida au Maghreb 
        Islamique, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of 
        Colombia, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, 
        and the Irish Republican Army.

SEC. 4. DESIGNATION OF AND ACTIONS WITH RESPECT TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES 
              ENGAGED IN ILLICIT TRADE IN TOBACCO PRODUCTS OR THEIR 
              PRECURSORS.

    (a) Designation.--Not later than one year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, 
in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, 
and the Secretary of the Treasury, shall--
            (1) review the status of illicit trade in tobacco products 
        or their precursors in each foreign country to determine 
        whether--
                    (A) the country is a major source, point of 
                transit, or consumer of illicit tobacco products or 
                their precursors; or
                    (B)(i) the country meets the criteria of 
                subparagraph (A); and
                    (ii) the government of the country has actively 
                engaged in or knowingly profited from the illicit trade 
                in tobacco products or their precursors;
            (2) designate each foreign country that--
                    (A) meets the criteria of subparagraph (A) of 
                paragraph (1) as a focus country for illicit trade in 
                tobacco products or their precursors for purposes of 
                providing assistance to the country under subsection 
                (b); and
                    (B) meets the criteria of subparagraph (B) of 
                paragraph (1) as a country of concern for illicit trade 
                in tobacco products or their precursors for purposes of 
                withholding United States development assistance and 
                security assistance to the country under subsection 
                (c); and
            (3) submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
        report that includes--
                    (A) a list that identifies each foreign country 
                designated as a focus country for illicit trade in 
                tobacco products or their precursors under paragraph 
                (2)(A); and
                    (B) a list that identifies each foreign country 
                designated as a country of concern for illicit trade in 
                tobacco products or their precursors under paragraph 
                (2)(B).
    (b) Assistance to Focus Countries.--
            (1) Law enforcement professional training.--The Secretary 
        of State, in coordination with the heads of other relevant 
        United States departments and agencies and nongovernmental 
        organizations where appropriate, is authorized to provide 
        assistance to foreign countries designated as focus countries 
        for illicit trade in tobacco products or their precursors under 
        subsection (a)(2)(A) to improve the effectiveness of law 
        enforcement to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products or 
        their precursors.
            (2) Investigative capacity building.--The Secretary of 
        State, in coordination with the heads of other relevant United 
        States departments and agencies, is authorized to establish and 
        carry out programs to increase the capacity of law enforcement 
        and customs and border security offices in foreign countries 
        designated as focus countries for illicit trade in tobacco 
        products or their precursors under subsection (a)(2)(A).
    (c) Prohibition on Assistance to Countries of Concern.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of State may not provide 
        development assistance or security assistance to foreign 
        countries designated as countries of concern for illicit trade 
        in tobacco products or their precursors under subsection 
        (a)(2)(B).
            (2) Waiver.--The Secretary of State may waive the 
        application of paragraph (1) with respect to a foreign country 
        described in paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines and 
        certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that such 
        waiver is in the national security interests of the United 
        States.
            (3) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    (A) Development assistance.--The term ``development 
                assistance'' means assistance authorized under--
                            (i) chapter 1 or 10 of part I of the 
                        Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 
                        et seq. or 2293 et seq.); or
                            (ii) chapter 4 of part II of such Act (22 
                        U.S.C. 2346 et seq.).
                    (B) Security assistance.--The term ``security 
                assistance'' means assistance authorized under part II 
                of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2301 
                et seq.).

SEC. 5. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO FOREIGN PERSONS 
              RESPONSIBLE FOR ILLICIT TRADE IN TOBACCO PRODUCTS OR 
              THEIR PRECURSORS.

    (a) In General.--The President is authorized to impose the 
sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any foreign 
person the President determines, based on credible evidence--
            (1) is responsible for illicit trade in tobacco products or 
        their precursors;
            (2) acted as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign person 
        in a matter relating to an activity described in paragraph (1);
            (3) is a government official, or a senior associate of such 
        an official, that is responsible for, or complicit in, 
        ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the illicit 
        trade in tobacco products or their precursors, including acts 
        of significant corruption, bribery, or the facilitation or 
        transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign 
        jurisdictions; or
            (4) has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided 
        financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or 
        services in support of, an activity described in paragraph (1), 
        (2), or (3).
    (b) Sanctions Described.--The sanctions described in this 
subsection are the following:
            (1) Inadmissibility to united states.--In the case of a 
        foreign person who is an individual--
                    (A) ineligibility to receive a visa to enter the 
                United States or to be admitted to the United States; 
                or
                    (B) if the individual has been issued a visa or 
                other documentation, revocation, in accordance with 
                section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
                (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)), of the visa or other documentation.
            (2) Blocking of property.--
                    (A) In general.--The blocking, in accordance with 
                the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 
                U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), of all transactions in all 
                property and interests in property of a foreign person 
                if such property and interests in property are in the 
                United States, come within the United States, or are or 
                come within the possession or control of a United 
                States person.
                    (B) Inapplicability of national emergency 
                requirement.--The requirements of section 202 of the 
                International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 
                1701) shall not apply for purposes of this section.
                    (C) Exception relating to importation of goods.--
                            (i) In general.--The authority to block and 
                        prohibit all transactions in all property and 
                        interests in property under subparagraph (A) 
                        shall not include the authority to impose 
                        sanctions on the importation of goods.
                            (ii) Good defined.--In this subparagraph, 
                        the term ``good'' means any article, natural or 
                        man-made substance, supply or manufactured 
                        product, including inspection and test 
                        equipment, and excluding technical data.
    (c) Consideration of Certain Information in Imposing Sanctions.--In 
determining whether to impose sanctions under subsection (a), the 
President shall consider--
            (1) information provided by the chairperson and ranking 
        member of each of the appropriate congressional committees; and
            (2) credible information obtained by other countries and 
        nongovernmental organizations that monitor violations of human 
        rights.
    (d) Requests by Chairperson and Ranking Member of Appropriate 
Congressional Committees.--Not later than 120 days after receiving a 
written request from the chairperson and ranking member of one of the 
appropriate congressional committees with respect to whether a foreign 
person has engaged in an activity described in subsection (a), the 
President shall--
            (1) determine if that person has engaged in such an 
        activity; and
            (2) submit to the chairperson and ranking member of that 
        committee with respect to that determination a report that 
        includes--
                    (A) a statement of whether or not the President 
                imposed or intends to impose sanctions with respect to 
                the person; and
                    (B) if the President imposed or intends to impose 
                sanctions, a description of those sanctions.
    (e) Exception To Comply With United Nations Headquarters Agreement 
and Law Enforcement Objectives.--Sanctions under subsection (b)(1) 
shall not apply to an individual if admitting the individual into the 
United States would further important law enforcement objectives or is 
necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement 
regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake 
Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, 
between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable 
international obligations of the United States.
    (f) Enforcement of Blocking of Property.--A person that violates, 
attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of 
subsection (b)(2) or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry 
out subsection (b)(2) shall be subject to the penalties set forth in 
subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency 
Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person 
that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that 
section.
    (g) Termination of Sanctions.--The President may terminate the 
application of sanctions under this section with respect to a foreign 
person if the President determines and reports to the appropriate 
congressional committees not later than 15 days before the termination 
of the sanctions that--
            (1) credible information exists that the person did not 
        engage in the activity for which sanctions were imposed;
            (2) the person has been prosecuted appropriately for the 
        activity for which sanctions were imposed;
            (3) the person has credibly demonstrated a significant 
        change in behavior, has paid an appropriate consequence for the 
        activity for which sanctions were imposed, and has credibly 
        committed to not engage in an activity described in subsection 
        (a) in the future; or
            (4) the termination of the sanctions is in the vital 
        national security interests of the United States.
    (h) Regulatory Authority.--The President shall issue such 
regulations, licenses, and orders as are necessary to carry out this 
section.
    (i) Identification of Sanctionable Foreign Persons.--The Assistant 
Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement 
Affairs, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary of State for 
Consular Affairs and other bureaus of the Department of State, as 
appropriate, is authorized to submit to the Secretary of State, for 
review and consideration, the names of foreign persons who may meet the 
criteria described in subsection (a).

SEC. 6. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the President shall 
submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that 
includes--
            (1) a list of each foreign person with respect to which the 
        President imposed sanctions pursuant to section 5 during the 
        year preceding the submission of the report;
            (2) a description of the type of sanctions imposed with 
        respect to each such foreign person;
            (3) the number of foreign persons with respect to which the 
        President--
                    (A) imposed sanctions under section 5 during that 
                year; and
                    (B) terminated sanctions under section 5 during 
                that year;
            (4) the dates on which such sanctions were imposed or 
        terminated, as the case may be;
            (5) the reasons for imposing or terminating such sanctions; 
        and
            (6) a description of the efforts of the President to 
        encourage the governments of other countries to impose 
        sanctions that are similar to the sanctions authorized by 
        section 5.
    (b) Form of Report.--
            (1) In general.--Each report required by subsection (a) 
        shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a 
        classified annex.
            (2) Exception.--The name of a foreign person to be included 
        in the list required by subsection (a)(1) may be submitted in 
        the classified annex authorized by paragraph (1) only if the 
        President--
                    (A) determines that it is vital for the national 
                security interests of the United States to do so;
                    (B) uses the annex in a manner consistent with 
                congressional intent and the purposes of this Act; and
                    (C) not later than 15 days before submitting the 
                name in a classified annex, provides to the appropriate 
                congressional committees notice of, and a justification 
                for, including the name in the classified annex despite 
                any publicly available credible information indicating 
                that the person engaged in an activity described in 
                section 5(a).
    (c) Public Availability.--
            (1) In general.--The unclassified portion of the report 
        required by subsection (a) shall be made available to the 
        public, including through publication in the Federal Register.
            (2) Nonapplicability of confidentiality requirement with 
        respect to visa records.--The President shall publish the list 
        required by subsection (a)(1) without regard to the 
        requirements of section 222(f) of the Immigration and 
        Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)) with respect to 
        confidentiality of records pertaining to the issuance or 
        refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States.
                                 <all>

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