Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Case Against Sanctions

I generally oppose the use of sanctions, which are essentially a projection of weakness. The use of sanctions sends the message that we don't like something, but we aren't really serious about doing anything about it. It's a half-measure that avoids making tough decisions, and allows politicians to pretend they are actually addressing a foreign policy issue. Sanctions on Iran are particularly pointless, since they will be undercut by Russia and China, among others. This week U.S. business groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Foreign Trade Association present another argument against sanctions.
the proposed sanctions "could prohibit any U.S. company from transacting routine business with critical partners from around the globe even if these transactions have no bearing on business" with the Islamic Republic.

"The proposals could have a large impact on the U.S. Export-Import Bank, precluding it from partnering with counterpart agencies abroad to co-finance U.S. exports that have no relation to Iran’s energy sector,"
Apparently sanctions could penalize businesses doing business with businesses doing business with Iran -- if that's not too confusing. I'm not sure if their argument is correct, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if sanctions had unintended consequences that ended up hurting U.S. business, while doing nothing to stop Iran's nuclear program. 

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