Economic sanctions

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Economic sanctions are economic penalties applied by one country (or group of countries) on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas.

Economic sanctions are frequently retaliatory in nature. For example, in 2002 the United States placed import tariffs on steel in an effort to protect its industry from more efficient foreign producers, such as China and Russia. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that these tariffs were illegal. The European Union threatened retaliatory tariffs on a range of US goods, forcing the US government to remove the steel tariffs in early 2004. Economic sanctions frequently result in trade wars. The World Trade Organization is the world governing body for trade disputes.

Economic sanctions are not always imposed because of economic circumstances. For example, on May 13th 1998, the United States and Japan imposed economic sanctions on India, following its second round of nuclear tests.

The United Nations imposed stringent economic sanctions upon Iraq after the first Gulf War, and these were mantained partly as an attempt to make the Iraqi government co-operate with the UN weapons inspectors' monitoring of Iraq's weapons and weapons programs. These sanctions were unusually stringent in that very little in the way of trade goods were allowed into or out of Iraq during the sanction period (further information about these sanctions and their effects can be found at . The sanctions were not lifted until May 2003, after its leader Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

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Economic sanctions

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