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
VideoAshley Feng Discusses Latest Developments in Hong Kong
Ashley Feng joins Paris Huang on Voice of America Chinese to discuss the latest developments surrounding Beijing's crackdown on Hong Kong and the U.S. response. Watch th...
By Ashley Feng
CommentaryEnergy Markets, Geopolitics, and COVID-19
On May 14, members of the CNAS Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) program held a Twitter conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on energy markets and geopolitics. EES Progr...
By Sam Dorshimer & Abigail Eineman
CommentaryEmerging Trends in Coercive Economic Measures Used by the United States and China
On April 24, the CNAS Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) program held a live discussion on trends in coercive economic measures in the U.S.-China relationship. This event c...
By Ashley Feng
CommentaryThe World Order Is Dead. Here’s How to Build a New One for a Post-Coronavirus Era.
International orders seldom change in noticeable ways. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, the Pax Romana was not a passing phase: it persisted for centuries. The order that a...
By Edward Fishman