Conservationists praised the proposed legislation, saying that it could be a powerful tool to motivate both countries that have loose poaching regulations, as well as countries that have loose ivory trade regulations. If the bill is passed, the U.S. could target countries that have been implicated for their involvement in the ivory trade. These include China, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - though this list could be revised at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016.
The sanctions would cut off trade for other wildlife products - things like wildlife skins and trophy hunts that rake in money for those countries. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, told The Dodo that the sanctions could provide a powerful incentive to prosecute ivory traders.
"The countries implicated in the ivory trade – those that are not doing enough to stop the poaching and reduce demand, will be expected to increase law enforcement, bolster customs operations to uncover trafficking operations, prevent ivory from being re-exported," he said.