March 30, 2016

How U.S. trade sanctions are no longer punishments

Source: NPR Marketplace

Journalist: Tracey Samuelson

The use of sanctions in the U.S. have become are more “targeted” and “engineered” in recent years, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said during a speech in Washington Wednesday morning.

“If you go back to early sanctions programs, it was pretty much on or off,” he said. “You cut a country off and it had broad impact on the general public.”

Traditionally, the U.S. issues sanctions, actions that limit or stop trade, to countries that don't follow international policies.  Today, the U.S. employs a more tailored approach, Lew said, meant to change behavior rather than punish those targeted.

That may mean black listing “specific weapons traffickers, specific terrorist cartels and terrorist groups, [and] proliferaters as well,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg with the Center for a New American Security. “We’ll name them specifically and we’ll name their networks.”

Listen to the full interview below or on NPR Marketplace.




  • Elizabeth Rosenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Elizabeth Rosenberg is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publ...