A year into his presidency, President Donald Trump has become an aggressive practitioner of economic sanctions. So far, the Treasury Department has added over 700 people, companies, and government agencies to sanctions lists. The administration has also increased other forms of economic pressure on North Korea and Venezuela. Its tactics are different too. Trump has threatened to rip up the Iran nuclear deal, thereby abandoning a multilateral approach to the application of financial sanctions on Iran.
Trump’s use of sanctions has notched some notable wins. Three rounds of North Korea sanctions adopted by the U.N. Security Council last year will, if fully enforced, cut off 90 percent of North Korea’s pre-sanctions export revenues. Sanctions on Venezuela target President Nicolas Maduro, who has presided over a humanitarian catastrophe that prompted over half a million Venezuelans flee in the last two years and caused hunger and child mortality rates to soar. U.S. sanctions have dramatically increased pressure on Caracas.
But there are worrying signs that Trump’s use of sanctions may not be sustainable. The administration needs a long-term strategy to shore up multilateral cooperation, prevent career staff burnout and departures, and get ahead of emerging trends that threaten to undercut U.S. sanctions dominance. Absent a holistic plan, America’s dealmaker-in-chief risks leaving his successors with a much weaker tool to deploy against future national security threats.
Read the full article in Foreign Policy.
More from CNAS
CommentarySouth Korea Commits to Combatting Increased Ransomware Attacks
South Korea and like-minded countries should continue to invest in joint cyber operations and criminal investigations to expand their jurisdictional reach and enforcement capa...
By Jason Bartlett
CommentaryReassessing Counter Terrorism Financing in a Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan
The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan set back decades-long efforts to integrate Afghanistan into the international community....
By Alex Zerden
CommentaryChina Is Making Smart Money
As a U.S. national security matter, China’s progress in the digital renminbi is more about China’s ambition to harness data than it is about advancing its currency....
By Yaya J. Fanusie & Emily Jin
CommentaryBanished Soviet-Koreans Helped Build North Korea
While Pyongyang touts its reclusive nature as an act of national pride free from foreign influence, the reality is that a collection of outsiders – Soviet-Koreans, in particul...
By Jason Bartlett