On May 10, 2017, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of May 9, 2017 – Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria, which extends the national emergency with respect to the actions of Syria for an additional year. The national emergency was originally declared by Executive Order (EO) 13338 (May 11, 2004) which authorized the blocking of property of certain persons and prohibited the exportation or reexportation of certain goods to Syria. The national emergency was modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in EO 13399 of April 25, 2006, EO 13460 of February 13, 2008, EO 13572 of April 29, 2011, EO 13573 of May 18, 2011, EO 13582 of August 17, 2011, EO 13606 of April 22, 2012, and EO 13608 of May 1, 2012.
The national emergency and its actions are being continued because the regime’s brutality and repression of the Syrian people, who have been calling for freedom and a representative government, not only endangers the Syrian people themselves, but also generates instability throughout the region. The Syrian regime’s actions and policies, including with respect to chemical and biological weapons, supporting terrorist organizations, and obstructing the Lebanese government’s ability to function effectively, continue to foster the rise of extremism and sectarianism and pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.