Sanctions fuel U.S. role as superpower?

2022-04-02 Editor:Zhang Dongfang

By John Lee

(ECNS) -- An opinion work in The New York Times called the U.S. “the only sanctions superpower” and said the country “must use that power wisely.” The U.S. has been keening on using sanction weapons for a long time. Is the "superpower" nurtured by sanctions?

But arbitrary sanctions are by no means a good choice to solve problems or to alleviate geopolitical conflicts. On the contrary, it will gradually damage the world's trust in the country, eventually leading the U.S. to isolation.

According to the 2021 Sanctions Review released by the U.S. Treasury Department, by fiscal year 2021, the U.S. had over 9,400 effective sanction designations, almost 10 times the number 20 years ago.

U.S. sanctions on countries such as Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela have impeded their normal economic and trade activities with the world, resulting in sluggish economic development and low quality of life for people in those countries.

U.S. sanctions on Russia under the pretext of “backing up Ukraine” have raised global oil prices and many European countries are also suffering from Russian counter-measures.

Daniel W. Drezner, a scholar at Tufts University, pointed out in his article The United States of Sanctions that to anyone paying attention to U.S. foreign policy for the past decade, it has become obvious the United States relies on one tool above all: economic sanctions.

However, such sanctions are losing potency, as evidenced by the tough attitude of Russia and Iran towards the country.

What’s more, U.S. sanctions also affect relations with its allies. For example, the world-famous Alstom of France has been split due to the U.S.’ “long-arm jurisdiction." The North Stream 2 connecting Germany and Russia is still uncompleted due to obstruction by the U.S., which tries to protect its liquefied natural gas industry and its geopolitical interests in Eurasia. Even Japan has been suppressed by the U.S. in the Toshiba event last century.

Sanctions without distinction are infringements on the sovereignty of other countries and a blow to their economic interests. The "America first" mentality will gradually exclude the country from global cooperation.

The U.S. wantonly imposes unilateral sanctions on sovereign countries and legally operated enterprises, in an attempt to use political hegemony to influence business order and hinder normal global economic and trade cooperation. This reflects that the diplomatic influence of the U.S. is gradually weakening, and that there are fewer cards it can play to maintain its hegemony in the face of economic globalization.

Globalization requires all countries across the world to cooperate and jointly safeguard normal trade rules to promote global development. U.S. sanctions go against this trend, which will eventually trigger worldwide opposition, criticism and isolation.

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