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

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP Rep calls for US to bring international case against China over coronavirus Belarus's risky coronavirus strategy House Republicans threaten pushback on Saudi Arabia amid oil market slump 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) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump blends upbeat virus info and high US death forecast Hill's Editor-In-Chief: Is Washington establishment failing the test of this crisis? Democrat: Lawmakers need to approach opioid crisis as 'a chronic situation' 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 MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans On The Money: Mnuchin, Schumer in talks to strike short-term relief deal | Small businesses struggling for loans | Treasury IG sends Dems report on handling of Trump tax returns 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