The U.S. government and its partners possess powerful financial and regulatory tools that help achieve foreign policy goals, but failure to use them appropriately will have major consequences for international trade, our alliances, and our own credibility. Conversations about national security and “sovereignty” cannot lapse into protectionism and special interest. Moreover, we should be mindful not to define economic statecraft only by punitive measures, but by potential incentive structures to deepen our ties with Allies and partners.

Featured work

China Economic Spotlight

Our experts review the individual China measures pursued by the US and its Allies and partners within their global political and economic context. Because taxation and accounting have never been so important. And because the whole is more than a sum of its parts, for the military and the markets alike.

Programmatic structure

Sanctions and Illicit Finance: Our goal is to clarify the role sanctions can (and cannot) play in advancing policy objectives, harness the power of our allies, and promote options that minimize consequences for the private sector. On the illicit finance side, the health and soundness of our financial infrastructure can be as important as military deterrence, and that protecting our financial system from abuse by illicit financial actors goes hand in hand with prudential supervision.

Transatlantic Trade and Regulation: Our program with check assumptions that transatlantic trade “should be easy” when two equal sized market powers with two equally viable regulatory frameworks stand their ground. We will also analyze the potential reshoring of foreign direct investment in light of COVID and attempts on both sides of the Atlantic to secure supply chains and also bolster domestic competitiveness in research and development, technology, and high-end manufacturing.

Tariffs, Investment Screening, and Export Controls: By bringing together stakeholders from economic, regulatory, military, foreign policy, and business communities, we will take an objective look at how restrictions on the movement of capital have emerged as a national security tool. By surveying D10 governments, private sector participants, business associations and academia, we will drive consensus among allies on what sectors of our economies deserve government interference, and which do not. 

Commentary and analysis

Thu, Dec 17, 2020

Sanctions against Turkey over Russian arms: Has the United States found a sweet spot?

With its sanctions against Turkey’s main defense-procurement entity, the United States may have found a sweet spot: sanctions strong enough to capture Turkish attention but not so sweeping as to shut down bilateral security and arms relations with a NATO ally.

New Atlanticist by Daniel Fried

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

Mon, Dec 14, 2020

What Sudan’s terror delisting really means

The announcement today that the forty-five day notification period to Congress had elapsed and Sudan was finally off the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list is historic. It validates the new direction of the country, which it was set upon nearly two years ago by nationwide, peaceful street protests. More importantly, it represents a definitive break with Sudan’s troubled past—the true end of the Bashir era, which began more than thirty years ago—and holds out the hope for a more prosperous future for all Sudanese. The weight of the moment cannot be understated.

AfricaSource by Cameron Hudson

Africa Democratic Transitions

Thu, Dec 10, 2020

The European Magnitsky Law—A milestone with a lot of potential

The European Magnitsky Act has some limitations, but if implemented and enforced consistently, it has the potential to make a large impact in the global fight against human rights abuse because of the opportunity it creates for the United States and Europe to coordinate their efforts together.

New Atlanticist by Hagar Hajjar Chemali

Economic Sanctions European Union

Mon, Dec 7, 2020

US investors face half-baked Trump restrictions on Chinese securities

As the Trump administration tries to accelerate economic decoupling from China before leaving office, it has turned its attention to international finance by targeting investments in Chinese companies designated as threats to US national security. In that process, it is injecting uncertainty into markets by forcing investors to adjust to rapidly evolving restrictions.

New Atlanticist by Jeremy Mark

China Economic Sanctions

Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Russia sanctions bite and remind us of the value of transatlantic unity

Despite some early hesitation and Moscow’s attempts to discredit them, the sanctions are working. They have had an undeniable effect on the Russian economy, which Moscow cannot overlook in its decision-making.

New Atlanticist by Juha Rainne

Economic Sanctions Russia

Mon, Oct 19, 2020

Sudan is removed from the terror list. Now what?

After twenty-seven years on the US State Sponsor of Terrorism list, President Trump today announced, via Twitter, that Sudan’s terror designation was at long last being removed. While many details of the deal struck between the Trump Administration and the transitional authorities in Sudan have yet to emerge, the announcement by itself should be welcomed as a major achievement for both Washington and Khartoum.

AfricaSource by Cameron Hudson

Africa Democratic Transitions

Tue, Oct 13, 2020

New sanctions on Iran’s banks: Crippling or more window dressing?

Policy actions like these are a continuation of a foreign policy toward Iran that appears characterized by spite rather than achievable policy ends.

IranSource by Brian O’Toole

Economic Sanctions Economy & Business

Tue, Sep 29, 2020

Tackling the China threat with economic statecraft

Decoupling the US and Chinese economies does little to address the more fundamental threat posed by China’s efforts to rewrite the global rulebook.

New Atlanticist by David Mortlock

China Economic Sanctions

Mon, Sep 28, 2020

The illusion of decoupling the semiconductor industry: Latest US restrictions on China short-sighted

The action against SMIC, which reflects concerns about the use of US chip-making technology for military purposes and which follows steps put into effect on September 15 to choke off the supply of chips to Huawei Technologies Co., is likely to prove shortsighted. It will incur costs for US companies while failing to ensure them supply chain independence.

New Atlanticist by Jeremy Mark

China Digital Policy

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

Sanctions against Belarus must also target Russia

The US and EU are preparing to impose sanctions on Belarus over the Lukashenka regime’s violent crackdown on protests. To be effective, sanctions should also target Lukashenka’s Russian allies.

UkraineAlert by Anders Åslund

Belarus Democratic Transitions
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