Monday, February 2, 2009

US targets Chinese, Iranian, NKorean firms

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is imposing sanctions on several Chinese, Iranian and North Korean companies for violating arms export regulations governing missile technology and other proliferation activities.
The penalties announced by the State Department in Monday's Federal Register are the first of their kind from the new administration and affect four firms in China, three in North Korea and two in Iran.
The sanctions are largely symbolic as they bar the companies from trade with the U.S. that they were not likely involved in. Although the sanctions were in the works for some time, the Obama team signed off on them on Jan. 21, a day after Barack Obama took office. They signal a continuing tough stance from Washington on weapons technology transfers.