Released at the Transatlantic Forum on Geoeconomics in Berlin, a multipart report sheds new light on the effects of sanctions, export controls, and other tools for shaping world affairs through economic means

BERLIN – SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 – Following sweeping sanctions regimes and rising geoeconomic tensions in recent years, the Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center and Atlantik-Brücke published new research today on the growing reach and impact of economic statecraft—the use of economic power to achieve foreign policy and national security objectives.

Over four distinct articles published as a report, “Transatlantic Economic Statecraft: Different Approaches, Shared Risk,” the Council and Atlantik-Brücke provide a framework for using economic leverage and greater coordination among transatlantic partners. The findings point to concrete solutions for collaboration in a complex economic environment, from using positive economic statecraft in addition to coercive tools, to aligning export controls for the greatest impact, to assessing the impact of financial sanctions on the global role of the US dollar.

“Sanctions, export controls, and other levers of economic power have become the go-to tool for policymakers when faced with threats to national security,” said Kimberly Donovan, director of the Economic Statecraft Initiative within the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. “There are benefits and risks to using these tools. It is time that we develop a framework for leveraging the coercive and positive instruments of economic statecraft to ensure they achieve the intended objective and prevent unintentionally degrading our economic power or our transatlantic partnerships.”

The new research paper includes:

  • “Building Common Ground: Assessing US and European Tools of Economic Statecraft,” by Kimberly Donovan and Maia Nikoladze: A global economy and more interconnected financial systems require transatlantic partners to consider the vulnerabilities that come with the use of economic statecraft tools and what can be achieved through multilateralism.
  • “Positive Economic Statecraft: Wielding Hard Outcomes with Soft Money,” by Nicole Goldin and Mrugank Bhusari: As the economic statecraft landscape grows more complex, there is a greater opportunity for the use of economic incentives to respond to crises and mitigate global risks.
  • “Networked Power: Export Control Policy Across the G7,” by Sarah Bauerle Danzman and Ambuj Sahu: As the United States and its allies consider a more assertive use of economic statecraft tools, such as export controls, to deny China the ability to develop home-grown advanced semiconductor technology capabilities, they will need to recognize the effect they have on the global semiconductor supply chain.
  • “New Era of Financial Sanctions: Adapting to Anti-Dollar Policies,” by Daniel McDowell: Policymakers should rethink their growing reliance on financial sanctions as these actions are provoking anti-dollar policies among US adversaries.

The launch of the research coincides with the Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center’s flagship event, the Transatlantic Forum on Geoeconomics, co-hosted with Atlantik-Brücke, in Berlin, Germany on Friday, September 22. Keynote speakers at the forum include Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag; German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck; and Ambassador Katherine Tai, the nineteenth United States Trade Representative. The forum will convene leaders from both the private and public sectors to determine a path forward together in the economic statecraft landscape.

Atlantik-Brücke CEO Julia Friedlander noted, “Our conference can contribute to the very lively debate in Germany right now over the course of the economy and the balance between growth, future investment, and national security.”

Authors of the report, as well as other distinguished leaders in the field, will participate in panels and breakout sessions throughout the forum. These sessions include a conversation on the intersection of economic policy and national security, the future of multilateralism, the role of financial institutions on the global stage, and the path forward with regulating digital assets.

This conference is on-the-record and open to the press. For more information, please visit the event page here.

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About the GeoEconomics Center

The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes US leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to share solutions to global challenges. The Atlantic Council provides an essential forum for navigating the economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing its network of global leaders. Through the papers it publishes and the ideas it generates, the Atlantic Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more free, secure, and prosperous world.

The Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center works at the nexus of economics, finance, and foreign policy with the goal of helping shape a better global economic future. The Center is organized around three pillars – Future of Capitalism, Future of Money, and the Economic Statecraft Initiative.

About Atlantik-Brücke

Founded in 1952, Atlantik-Brücke aims to deepen cooperation between Germany, Europe, and America on all levels. Transatlantic cooperation is and remains a decisive factor for global order and stability, especially in difficult times. Now that nationalist tendencies are gaining popularity worldwide, Atlantik-Brücke is even more committed to its mission. It advocates multilateralism, open societies, and free trade. As a non-profit and non-partisan association, Atlantik-Brücke strengthens the exchange between politics and business, but also between young leaders and representatives of civil society beyond party lines. Atlantik-Brücke offers a platform for different perspectives and a lively debate. Members of the Atlantik-Brücke are decision-makers from business, politics, science, and the media on both sides of the Atlantic.