This is an excerpt of an article written by Jeffrey Sachs.
Ms. Meng is charged with violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Yet, consider her arrest in the context of the large number of companies, U.S. and non-U.S., that have violated America’s sanctions against Iran and other countries. In 2011, for example, JP Morgan Chase paid $88.3 million in fines in 2011 for violating U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Yet Jamie Dimon wasn’t grabbed off a plane and whisked into custody.
And JP Morgan Chase was hardly alone in violating U.S. sanctions. Since 2010, the following major financial institutions paid fines for such violations: Banco do Brasil, Bank of America, Bank of Guam, Bank of Moscow, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Clearstream Banking, Commerzbank, Compass, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Pakistan, PayPal, RBS (ABN Amro), Société Générale, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Trans Pacific National Bank (now known as Beacon Business Bank), Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo.
None of the CEOs or CFOs of these sanction-busting banks were arrested and taken into custody for these violations. In all of these cases, the corporation – rather than an individual manager – was held accountable. Nor were they held accountable for the pervasive lawbreaking in the lead-up to or aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, for which the banks paid a staggering US$243 billion in fines, according to a recent tally. In light of this record, Ms. Meng’s arrest is a shocking break with practice. Yes, hold CEOs and CFOs accountable – but start at home in order to avoid hypocrisy, self-interest disguised as high principle and the risk of inciting a new global conflict.
It's true that Meng was arrested for fraud that hid the fact that her companies did business with Iran, but it's equivalent to arresting her for that reason. So I am wondering how often people get extradited to another country for similar charge. Seeing Trump do all sorts of things against international norms and institutions, I was wondering if it was just something he did to get the upper hand with the trade dispute against China.