Office Of Foreign Asset Control - OFAC

DEFINITION of 'Office Of Foreign Asset Control - OFAC'

A department of the U.S. Treasury that enforces economic and trade sanctions against countries and groups of individuals involved in terrorism, narcotics and other disreputable activities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Office Of Foreign Asset Control - OFAC'

The OFAC was officially created in 1950, when China entered the Korean War. President Truman declared the event a national emergency, and froze all Chinese and Korean assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction. The OFAC's predecessor was the Office of Foreign Funds Control (OFFC), which was established in response to the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940.

The OFAC program runs many sanctions based on United Nations mandates. Basically, through these sanctions and trade policies, the OFAC tries to make the economic lives of these countries or groups of individuals very difficult. This is done as a way to pressure a country to conform to certain laws or regulations, or to discontinue disreptuble activity.