Pompeo: Removing sanction waivers on Iranian oil sales likely won't impact China trade talks

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSondland brings impeachment inquiry to White House doorstep Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony Five bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony MORE said in an interview on Monday that U.S. trade talks with China will likely not be affected by the removal of sanctions waivers that allowed eight foreign governments, including China, to buy Iranian oil without penalties. 

"No, I don't believe so," Pompeo told The Hill’s editor-in-chief, Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackHill editor-in-chief: Buttigieg could benefit if impeachment reaches Senate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony The Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Who's winning with Latinos and why? MORE, in the interview, which aired Tuesday on Hill.TV's "Rising."

"We've had lots of talks with China about this issue. I am confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course," he continued. 

The Trump administration in November granted sanctions waivers to eight governments: China, India, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece, South Korea and Taiwan.

The waivers were due for renewal on May 2, but the administration announced earlier this month that they would not be renewed. 

"With respect to the absence of the granting of waivers and what others may do, sovereign nations make their own choices. Individual businesses inside of that will make their own choices. But what we can do is prepare a sanctions regime that makes it incredibly costly," Pompeo said.

"And so, companies that choose to violate the sanctions that we have in place connected to the purchase of crude oil from the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will pursue and we will ensure that they are held accountable for the violations that they engage in," he said. "It's pretty straightforward." 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Trump says he's 'looking at' Apple tariff exemption during tour of Texas plant Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are headed to Beijing this week with the hope of finalizing a deal to end the economic dispute between the U.S. and China. 

— Julia Manchester