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Economic Sanctions

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In 2000 alone, 70 countries, consisting of two-thirds of the world’s population were subject to United States imposed sanctions (Van den Berg, 228). Currently the U.S. has sanctions imposed on countries such as Burma, North Korea and Cuba. The Cuban sanctions date back to the 1960’s. Sanctions can be imposed by one or several countries and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This paper will examine trade and economic sanctions, the effectiveness of sanctions, as well as evaluate the sanctions the United States has imposed upon Iraq, Cuba, and North Korea.
Trade sanctions, according to International Economics A Heterodox Approach, are trade restrictions imposed by a country in order to punish or persuade another country to change objectionable policies or behavior. Sanctions can be imposed either unilaterally or by a group of countries, or an organization such as the League of Nations, or the World Trade Organization. Trade sanctions can range from mild, selectively concentrating on a certain aspect of the economy, to extreme, targeting a countries entire economy (Barber 368). Trade sanctions can be used when military action is considered too extreme, but diplomatic protest is too meager. Trade sanctions are not without cost, but they are much less costly than other alternatives. A “sender” country imposes a sanction on another country to restrict its imports and exports, or to impede the country’s finances. The discomfort from a trade sanction is usually felt by the target county’s population, and could benefit the country’s elites through the control of the countries black markets (Elliott, Hufbauer, and Oegg, Sanctions).
According to Franklin Foer’s article Economic Sanctions, the arsenal of United States sanctions consists of economic and trade sanctions. United States trade sanctions remove “preference programs,” such as Most Favored Nation trade, or...

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