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Economic sanctions have resurfaced at the center of public policy debate After a brief pause following the politically disastrous grain embargo and pipeline sanctions in the early 1980s sanctions are once again the weapon of choice to enforce a heap of US foreign policy goals from countering terrorism to battling drug trafficking A recent National Association of Manufacturers 1997 study lists over 30 countries hit by new US sanctions during the period 1993-1996 Many of these actions were unilateral reducing their impact in an increasingly globalized economy that has many alternative suppliers and markets High-publicity initiatives such as the Helms-Burton Act and the IranLibya Sanctions Act which threaten to punish third-country corporations that conduct business in Cuba Iran and Libya also raise the possibility that frustrated OECD governments such as Canada and France will retaliate against US companies In an increasingly integrated global economy it is important to have a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of unilateral economic sanctions for the United States Most of the analysis of the effectiveness of economic sanctions suggests they have limited the mutual aid for changing the behavior or governments of target countries Previous research at the Institute for International Economics concluded that US sanctions had positive outcomes in fewer than one in five cases in the 1970s and 1980s Much less is known about the costs of economic sanctions for the US economy The intent of trade sanctions is of course to reduce trade--exports or imports or both Financial sanctions may also reduce trade by denying investment foreign exchange or credit to the target country or by raising its cost of credit In addition to the immediate impact of sanctions on trade with the target many American businessmen claim that the effects of even limited unilateral US sanctions go well beyond targeted sectors They also argue that the effects remain long after they are lifted because US firms come to be regarded as
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