WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- President Obama told Congress Wednesday he is extending for one year the national emergency with respect to significant transnational criminal organizations.
"On July 24, 2011, by Executive Order 13581, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States constituted by the activities of significant transnational criminal organizations," Obama said in a statement.
"The activities of significant transnational criminal organizations have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States. They are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets. These organizations facilitate and aggravate violent civil conflicts and increasingly facilitate the activities of other dangerous persons," the president said.
Obama said because the organizations' activities "pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States," Executive Order 13581 must be extended for one year.