Economic Casualties: How U.S. Foreign Policy Undermines Trade, Growth, and Liberty

Economic Casualties: How U.S. Foreign Policy Undermines Trade, Growth, and Liberty

Economic Casualties: How U.S. Foreign Policy Undermines Trade, Growth, and Liberty

Economic Casualties: How U.S. Foreign Policy Undermines Trade, Growth, and Liberty

Synopsis

On a broad front, from high-tech export controls to unilateral sanctions, the U.S. government is curbing the freedom of Americans to trade, invest, and communicate with the rest of the world-all in the name of questionable foreign policy goals. In this book, a number of distinguished experts examine the cost these controls impose on individual liberty and economin opportunity.

Excerpt

Economic sanctions have become one of the most frequently employed means of carrying out U.S. foreign policy. Sanctions are imposed to control the spread of advanced technology to terrorists or military aggressors, or to punish countries whose political systems, military activities, or human rights records are repugnant to us. Everyone agrees that democracy and human rights are good things, and that nuclear war, terrorism, and torture are bad things. the controversy about whether and when to employ economic sanctions is not about these shared values; rather, it is a disagreement about how best to match means to ends.

The essays in this book lay out the evidence that economic sanctions are not effective instruments of foreign policy, and that the economics and humanitarian costs of sanctions outweigh their benefits. the contributors draw on their expert knowledge of the potential for evading restrictions, the difficulty of reconciling restrictions with the unhampered deployment of advanced technology such as encryption and digital cash, and the impact of sanctions on U.S. business and our trading partners abroad. Their comments offer key insights into the conditions necessary for the success of economic sanctions, the wisdom of export controls, problems with money laundering laws and unilateral sanctions, and human rights issues. the papers were first presented at the Cato Institute’s Global Commerce Conference, “Collateral Damage: the Economic Costs of U.S. Foreign Policy,” held in Washington on June 23, 1998. the substance of Richard Cheney’s paper was given as the luncheon address. the paper by Robert A. Sirico was first presented at a Cato Policy Forum on May 27, 1998. All papers have been updated for 1999.

We thank all the contributors for their hard work in preparing, updating, and editing these papers for publication. Also, special thanks to David Lampo and Elizabeth Kaplan of the Cato Institute for guiding the book through the publication process. Last but not least, we thank Ed Crane and David Boaz for their intellectual and moral guidance.

Solveig Singleton and Daniel T. Griswold . . .

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