State Department waives sanctions against 2 Chinese entities

The U.S. State Department waived chemical and biological proliferation sanctions against Nanjing Chemical Industries Group, and Jiangsu Yongli Chemical Engineering and Technology Import/Export Company on Tuesday.

Nanjing was sanctioned by the department in 1997 for contributing to the chemical weapons program in Iran with regard to the Arms Export Control Act and the Export Administration Act of 1979. Iran Watch said the company reportedly constructed a plant that produced glass-lined equipment that was capable of being used to manufacture chemical weapons. The company oversees more than 50 subsidiaries that focus on a number of different chemical specialties including chemical machinery, chemical raw materials and catalysts among other areas.

Jiangsu was given sanctions in 1997 and in 2002 for similar actions including reportedly assisting in construction of a facility that manufactured equipment that could be used in the development of chemical weapons. 

Additions to the Iran Sanctions Act made in 1996 allowed the government to impose sanctions on businesses that engaged in certain types of transactions. 

A report from customs and international trade lawyers, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., said there has been no explanation as to why sanctions were lifted. The government only stated that lifting the sanctions will play an important role in U.S. national security.