Trade Sanctions

Trade Sanctions are laws passed to restrict or abolish trade with certain countries.

Trade Sanctions can take various forms such as:

  • Complete embargo on specific types of trade.
  • Tariff Barriers. Higher taxes on imports of goods. If the tariffs are sufficiently high, it may stop imports completely.
  • Quotas limiting the amount of trade

Trade Sanctions could be implemented for political or economic reasons.

  • For example, the US imposed a trade embargo with Cuba from 1963, in protest at the Communist government. From 2000, the embargo was lifted on medical and agricultural items but remain on others.
  • After the first gulf war, the United Nations imposed trade sanctions on Iraq to put pressure on allowing weapon inspectors.
  • Trade sanctions may be imposed over countries engaging in unfair trading practices. For example, domestic subsidies may give domestic firms an unfair competitive advantage. Brazil imposed trade sanctions against the US, in response to the US government subsidising US cotton farmers.


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