Economic sanctions are a controversial foreign policy tool used by governments to punish or curb a variety of unwanted behaviors such as human rights violations, terrorism and cybersecurity incursions. Here’s a closer look at how sanctions have been used, what form they take, and the U.S. process for enacting and administering them.
The United States has nearly 8,000 economic sanctions in place, and the list is growing. The muscle behind an array of U.S. financial sanctions derives from the reach and power of the U.S. dollar as the “lead currency” in the global economy.
On November 5, U.S. sanctions went into effect that target Iran’s energy, shipping, and banking sectors, including vessels and banks called out by name. Ahead of the November deadline, Iranian oil tankers moving supplies offshore went “dark” in unprecedented numbers, trying to cloak their movements.
Among the many casualties of the 1958 Cuban revolution was the clear rights to Havana Club rum, which has been tied up in a decades-long trade dispute involving the United States, Cuba, and the European Union.
The North Korean regime continues to amass missile and nuclear technologies, through a combination of global licit and illicit transactions. North Korea trades for currency, for fuel, and for military materiel to preserve its power. Will expanded sanctions choke off revenue for weapons programs, or will continued trade ties with China throw North Korea a lifeline?