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 Should The U.S. continue to actively impose unilateral trade sanctions?

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Presentation on theme: " Should The U.S. continue to actively impose unilateral trade sanctions?"— Presentation transcript:

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2  Should The U.S. continue to actively impose unilateral trade sanctions?

3  Defined as a trade penalty imposed by one or more nations onto one or more nations.  A unilateral trade sanction (UTS) is a sanction imposed by one country.  Used as a political move to persuade problematic states or nations into compliance with desired behaviors.  Example: Libya (1986) by President Reagan in response to Qadaffi’s terrorist regime.

4  Has been imposing unilateral sanctions since World War II.  More then half of the world’s population in 75 countries is subject to U.S. sanctions.  Has imposed more than 40 sanctions in 3 dozen countries since  While sanctions are primarily designed to promote fair trade, the U.S. is actively imposing them to discourage the development of nuclear weapons as well as support of terrorism.

5  Libya  Iraq (still partial)  Sierra Leone  Taliban  India

6  Iran  North Korea  Cuba  Lebanon  Sudan  Syria  Pakistan

7  1974 Trade Act, Section 301: › “Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 2411), is the principal statutory authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions against foreign countries that maintain acts, policies and practices that violate, or deny U.S. rights or benefits under, trade agreements, or are unjustifiable, unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.”

8  Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 › Codified previous executive orders on sanctions reform into law. › Exempted commercial sales of agricultural products and medicines from trade sanctions. › Also changed terms in regards to imposing sanctions.  President must seek approval of Congress when imposing a sanction that would restrict or prohibit sales of agricultural or medicinal products.  Congress must renew any approved sanctions that go beyond 2 years.

9  Some partial successes, but created unintended consequences and did not fufill all goals.

10 › Examples: Libya, Iraq, Iran (70s/80s)  Countries would be richer without the sanctions.  Contributed to early release of Iranian hostages as well as Libya’s decision to give up nuclear weapons.  Limited their resources, but forced them to come up with their own, creating a market to sell.  Politically, did not stop desired behaviors

11  Emergence of rising trade competitors (including U.S. Allies) that make it easier for targeted country to obtain what is being sanctioned (hindering it essentially useless).  Helped propel the Anti-Americanism that exists within the Middle East.  Feuding and tension among U.S. and it’s allies.

12  U.S. Economy also hit hard by sanctions.  According to the President’s Export Council, unilateral sanctions have cost American exporters between $15 to $19 billion in lost annual sales – as well as lost market share over time.  Job loss.

13  It is recommended that the United States limit imposing unilateral trade sanctions as a tool for the war on terror.

14  Other opportunities for targeted country to seek sanctioned goods from other countries, or develop their own (hindering the sanction useless).  Potentially destructive to targeted societies as well.

15  U.S. has to follow through when countries don’t bend as a result of the sanctions (minimal threat). If there’s multilateral cooperation in imposing a sanction, it generates a larger threat which makes it harder to fail.  If failed, can escalate conflict.

16  In terms of using it as a tool to fight terrorism or human rights issues, the money that is deprived of the targeted country goes out of its citizens’ needs, not governmental programs.

17  We are trying to rebuild our global image and relations.

18  Allies are unhappy with U.S. Trade Sanctions law.  Puts them into a tight spot: dealing with U.S. or taking advantage of the new trade opportunity with other countries.  Europe took U.S. Sanctions Law to WTO in 1999 claiming it was illegal.

19  Seen by other countries as an attempt to manipulate trade and promote unilateralism for the United States across the board.  WTO ruled that, as long as the administration does not use the law in other means, it does not violate WTO standards.

20  Corporations, Farmers, Investors › Extremely unhappy with U.S. sanctions › Billions in export revenue lost annually. › Long term: market share and reputation › More difficulty with potential markets because of resentment.

21  Relieves pressure off of the targeted country.  If sanctions were needed, longer process to get approved through U.N. or some other multilateral process.  It takes an option out of the diplomatic process.

22  The costs of imposing unilateral sanctions when the success rate is so low is too high for the United States.  Our economy gets hit because of it  It hurts the citizens of that country.  It damages our political and economical partnerships.

23  It would be unwise to completely eliminate the option, but it needs to not be a mainstream method of dealing with problematic countries.  If sanctions are to succeed, they have a greater chance through multilateral means.

24  Borst, Alan, and Marc Warman. "Co-ops and Trade Sanctions." 01/trade.html. USDA, Nov.-Dec Web. 25 Oct  Raghavan, Chakravarthi. "WTO PANEL UPHOLDS US SANCTIONS LAW!" Twnside.org. Third World Network, 23 Dec Web. 26 Oct <

25  Smith, M. Shane. Beyond Intractability. Sanctions: Diplomatic Tool, or Warfare by Other Means? University of Colorado, Web. 25 Oct  United States. Department of Agriculture. Foreign Agricultural Service. Title IX--Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act. USDA, 18 Nov Web. 27 Oct  United States. Department of the Treasury. OFAC Sanctions Programs. Department of the Treasury. Web. 26 Oct  United States. Department of Commerce. Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce. Ed. Jean H. Grier. U.S. Department of Commerce, Mar Web. 25 Oct

26  "Unitleral Trade Sanctions." Center for Trade Policy Studies: CATO Institute. CATO Institute, Web. 24 Oct  "U.S. Challenges and Choices in the Gulf: Unilateral U.S. Sanctions." Mepc.org. Middle East Policy Council, Web. 27 Oct


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