The Taliban killed 10 civilians who refused to pay the militants ushr and regularly force coal truck drivers to pay extortion, local residents and officials say.
'The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future,' said Patrick Shanahan.
President Ashraf Ghani fired Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq in a move observers say was more than just political and was aimed at protecting Afghanistan's national interests.
The militants hope to use the contents of 22 trucks, including eight oil tankers, to fund their fight against the Afghan people and government, local officials and merchants say.
Hundreds of residents in two districts of Helmand Province called on the Taliban to renounce violence and make peace.
While the increasingly paranoid Taliban and ISIS try to wipe out spies in their own ranks, Afghan forces are launching robust operations against both groups, military officials say.
The movement has so far brought its calls for peace from Helmand to Kabul, Kandahar, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Balkh, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Baghlan, Khost and Herat provinces.
Afghan military operations and the push for peace negotiations are helping to accelerate militants' surrender to authorities, officials say.
The new sanctions aim to shut down the illicit networks Iran uses to export terrorism and unrest across the globe, the US Treasury said.
The religious justification the Taliban uses for the war in Afghanistan has no support in the teachings of Islam, religious scholars say.
The militants have forced nearly 200 families out of their homes into the cold, targetting those whose family members work for the Afghan security forces.
Afghan forces responded quickly to the Taliban attack, which comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at bringing the Taliban to the table.