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Diverting Oil Imports to United States Allies


The International Emergency Economic Powers Act would authorize the President, in order to deal with an Iranian cutoff of oil to United States allies, to require American oil companies and foreign entities they control to ship oil they acquire abroad to certain specified nations and in certain specified quantities.  While there must be a “foreign interest” in the oil for the President to invoke IEEPA’s powers, foreign interest unassociated with the nation that is creating the emergency would be sufficient.

Section 232(b) of the Trade Expansion Act would allow the President to impose a quota on oil imports for national security reasons, including reasons relating to foreign policy considerations; however, it would not give him power to direct the diversion of oil imports to other countries.

Updated July 9, 2014