What is Economic Statecraft?

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.

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. 

Featured work

China Economic Spotlight

China Economic Spotlight provides deep insight and analysis into the China policy – how the US and its partners are tackling critical issues ranging from markets and statecraft to technology and manufacturing.

Global Sanctions Dashboard

The Global Sanctions Dashboard provides a global overview of various sanctions regimes and lists. Each month you will find an update on the most recent listings and delistings and insights into the motivations behind them. This is the only sanctions resource where global sanctions list data are aggregated in one place.

Commentary and analysis

UkraineAlert by Daniel Fried, John E. Herbst, Alexander Vershbow

Nov 23, 2021

How to Deter Russia Now

UkraineAlert by Daniel Fried, John E. Herbst, Alexander Vershbow

With Russian troops once more massing on the Ukrainian border, the United States and Europe must make clear to the Kremlin that they stand with Ukraine and will impose serious costs in the event of an offensive.

Conflict Economic Sanctions

Timely Commentary & Analysis by Daniel Fried, Hagar Hajjar Chemali

Nov 19, 2021

AC GeoEcon Explores the Sanctions Response to the Belarus-Poland Border Face-Off

Timely Commentary & Analysis by Daniel Fried, Hagar Hajjar Chemali

Distinguished Fellow and former State Dept. Sanctions Coordinator Ambassador Daniel Fried participated in a discussion with Hagar Chemali, Senior Fellow and host of Oh My World, about the state of sanctions from the US & EU toward Belarus in light of the migrant crisis on Poland’s border

Economic Sanctions European Union

BelarusAlert by Daniel Fried, Michal Baranowski, Ben Judah

Nov 9, 2021

Belarus border crisis: Lukashenka weaponizes human misery

BelarusAlert by Daniel Fried, Michal Baranowski, Ben Judah

Kremlin-backed Belarus dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka has weaponized migrants from across the Middle East and is using them to create a border crisis in his escalating hybrid war against the EU.

Belarus Conflict

EconoGraphics by Julia Friedlander, Michael Albanese and Castellum.AI

Oct 22, 2021

Global Sanctions Dashboard: Halloween Edition

EconoGraphics by Julia Friedlander, Michael Albanese and Castellum.AI

The Global Sanctions Dashboard aims to inform economic statecraft policies by analyzing sanctions globally and identifying trends across lists in partnership with Castellum.AI.

Belarus China

New Atlanticist by Daniel Fried, Brian O’Toole

Oct 20, 2021

US leaders laid down solid and sensible sanctions policy. Now they need to follow through.

New Atlanticist by Daniel Fried, Brian O’Toole

The review is smart in addressing the true root causes of sanctions misuse without indulging in clichés such as that sanctions are overused or never work.

Economic Sanctions Economy & Business

BelarusAlert by Anders Åslund

Oct 13, 2021

How sustainable is the Belarusian economy?

BelarusAlert by Anders Åslund

Belarus dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka faces mounting sanctions pressure but the Soviet-style Belarusian economy will likely prove sustainable unless the West focuses pressure on Lukashenka’s Russian enablers.

Belarus Economic Sanctions

UkraineAlert by Daria Kaleniuk

Oct 7, 2021

The EU must stop serving as a playground for corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and officials

UkraineAlert by Daria Kaleniuk

If the EU is serious about helping Ukraine achieve a decisive break with the institutional corruption of the post-Soviet era, it must also stop serving as a playground for corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and officials.

Corruption Democratic Transitions

BelarusAlert by Brian Whitmore

Oct 6, 2021

West seeks new ways to hold Belarus dictator Lukashenka accountable

BelarusAlert by Brian Whitmore

US and EU leaders are exploring new options as they seek to hold Kremlin-backed Belarus dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka accountable for his increasingly brazen violations of international norms.

Belarus Economic Sanctions

New Atlanticist by Cameron Hudson

Sep 17, 2021

Biden finally gets bold on Ethiopia. But will it bring peace?

New Atlanticist by Cameron Hudson

The Biden team has launched its final and most elaborate warning shot before cracking down with sanctions against human-rights abusers in the Tigray region.

Africa Conflict

EconoGraphics by Julia Friedlander, Michael Albanese and Castellum.AI

Sep 17, 2021

Global Sanctions Dashboard: Summer Edition

EconoGraphics by Julia Friedlander, Michael Albanese and Castellum.AI

The Global Sanctions Dashboard aims to inform economic statecraft policies by analyzing sanctions globally and identifying trends across lists in partnership with Castellum.AI.

Afghanistan Belarus

GeoEconomics Center

At the intersection of economics, finance, and foreign policy, the GeoEconomics Center is a translation hub with the goal of helping shape a better global economic future.

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