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We write as U.S. foreign policy and national security professionals concerned about countering the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s malign influence to support the inclusion of the Establishing New Authorities for Businesses Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security (ENABLERS) Act in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.
The Trump administration’ identification of China as a strategic competitor marked an historic and necessary shift in U.S. policy. But increased focus on the CCP threat has also highlighted the extent to which the U.S. financial system remains exposed to abuses and vulnerable to infiltration—not only by China but Iran, Russia, and other authoritarian adversaries.
Fentanyl traffickers, CCP agents, and Chinese kleptocrats operating within the United States cannot navigate the U.S. financial and legal systems by themselves. Neither can Russian oligarchs or Iranian sanctions evaders. Instead, they have often taken advantage of unwitting or unscrupulous Americans to facilitate harmful activities. They can do so because, while U.S. banks are required to implement strong safeguards against money laundering and sanctions evasion, there are currently no such protections for lawyers, financial advisors, and other professionals involved in handling funds for foreign clients.
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