Working Paper: How Economic Sanctions are Used in U.S. Foreign Policy - March 2022
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/bwhn8p

Working Paper: How Economic Sanctions are Used in U.S. Foreign Policy - March 2022

1 March 2022


The classic use of sanctions directs them at the state with the aim to reduce trade in and out of a target state in order to reduce the sanctioned state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). [...] Since the Great Depression and the beginning of the Cold War, the president has used these powers to both apply sanctions at his own discretion and implement sanctions mandated by Congress. [...] In 1983, the Supreme Court nullified the legislative veto (which similarly hobbled the 1973 War Powers Resolution).13 Post-Cold War Sanctions after the Cold War came in two phases: comprehensive sanctions campaigns were implemented in the early and mid-1990s, and targeted sanctions on individuals have been most common since the mid-1990s. [...] Additionally, failing to target sanctions “smartly” could in fact be counterproductive by hurting the middle class and civil society factions of society that oppose the regime in the first place – a practical (as well as moral) setback if the goal is to induce the regime to change its behavior.43 Smart sanctions suppose that gross GDP loss in the target state is less important for pressuring a pol. [...] Comprehensive sanctions by the United States and the UN have reduced the GDP of target states substantially, which can aid in foreign policy negotiations, and severely limited the capacity of targeted non-state groups to raise and move funds.

Published in
United States of America