Chapter 8: The US position and practice with regards to unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions: reimagining the US sanctions regime in a world of advanced technology
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The US sanctions regime, which was designed to coerce behaviour by denying sanctions targets access to global trade and financial systems, faces a unique historical moment. US sanctions programmes have traditionally targeted - and continue to target - individuals and countries who are uniquely vulnerable because of their reliance on global trade and financial systems and/or the US dollar (for instance, oil-exporting countries like Iran). Recently, however, advanced technologies have begun to provide countries with a new means of exerting economic power. China, for example, is building a commercial and financial system based on software applications like Alipay and WeChat; and North Korea uses hacking to steal cryptocurrencies to fund its regime. As the sources of sanctions targets’ economic power shifts away from the US-dominated financial and trade systems, this chapter argues that the US may need to rethink its approach to the use of sanctions.

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