Senior Project Advisor

Weir, Sara J.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2000


Economic coercion, Trade sanctions, Foreign governments


For centuries governments implemented trade sanctions as a mechanism to coerce the actions and policy of other foreign governments (Huffbauer, Schott, Elliot 1985). The sender country employs sanctions to cripple the economy of the targeted country by taking over an essential percentage of a countries foreign trade, forcing the target country to cave into the sender’s policy demand. In spite of a lengthy history, the United States is still undecided as to how and when it should employ its economic arsenal. Questions about what causes a successful economic coercion episode and when they should be utilized remain unanswered. The 106*^ Congress considered more than 100 legislative proposals for the imposition new foreign policy sanctions, and modification or termination of existing sanctions episodes (Rennack 1999). In early 2000, the active public became involved in the debate about the employment of sanctions. Triggering events such as China’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the relaxation of Cuban sanctions, and a dilemma caused by a young Cuban refugee demanded the public’s attention, and spurred questions about America’s foreign policy formation. The granting of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China, a condition for accession and integration into the WTO, drew attention to the disparity between the United States’ existing policy of embargo with Cuba and policy of engagement and mixed sanctions with China. The disparity and public consternation caused some journalists and politicians to call for a policy review, and/or a unified policy towards the two rogue nations (Nethercutt 2000 and Rennack1999).


Political Science

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Economic sanctions, American--Cuba; Favored nation clause--Cuba

Geographic Coverage

United States--Foreign economic relations--Cuba; Cuba--Foreign economic relations--United States; United States--Foreign economic relations--China; China--Foreign economic relations--United States


student projects; term papers




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