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Keeping Up With U.S. Economic Sanctions

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.

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U.S. Dollar Provides the Muscle for Economic Sanctions

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.

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Child Labor Still a Scourge in Commonly Traded Goods

An estimated 152 million children in the world today are in child labor. Provisions on labor issues have proliferated in trade agreements since NAFTA was implemented. But child labor is a complex problem requiring complex and situational solutions. Only concerted action in local communities and throughout global supply chains will make widespread and demonstrable improvements to lives of the millions of children who are mainly not included in the scope of a trade agreement.

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How Criminals Move Money Through Global Trade

As global trade grows and increases in complexity, trade-based money laundering has become the weakest link in anti-money laundering initiatives. Banks and government officials are strengthening international collaboration to crack down on criminals who hide and launder their dirty money in global trade transactions.

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Breaking Bad Trade: Fentanyl from China

There are some in the United States who are frustrated with the administration’s willingness to toss out the traditional trade policy playbook, but if trade talks over soybeans and intellectual property protections can be leveraged to address illicit trade in deadly fentanyl, we can all get on board with that.

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When a Rose Isn’t Just a Rose: How Trade Policy Was Used to Fight Drugs from Colombia

Americans will give each other 200 million roses over the Valentine season. The majority were grown in Colombia. How did this come to be? For decades, U.S. Government trade, development, and drug eradication policies were designed to move South American growers away from cultivating the coca plant used to make cocaine by substituting commercially profitable production of cut flowers.

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It’s Engagement Season, a Shining Moment for Trade

Forty percent of American marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Nothing is more synonymous with an engagement than a sparkling diamond ring. Happy couples have international trade to thank for their symbol of commitment: the United States imports 99 percent of its gemstones from other countries.

North Korea-China Trade Ties: North Korea’s Life Jacket is Becoming China’s Straight Jacket

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?