The U.S. Senate took aim at Chinese banks that do business with North Korea, with a vote that struck at institutions that U.S. lawmakers view as the chief violators of United Nations sanctions.
The language, which would ban banks that do business with North Korea from the U.S. financial system, was included in the massive Pentagon authorization bill that cleared the Senate Thursday by a 86-8 vote. The bill also included approval for a 3.1% pay raise for service members and funds to help fix on-base housing for military families.
The vote sets up a new point of friction with China on the eve of President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The imposition of banking sanctions can be devastating; U.S. lawmakers in 2011 applied similar pressure to Iran, with sanctions that ultimately prompted the Islamic republic to accept strict curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.