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Reuters’ report claims Biden will continue use of sanctions

Biden will reshape foreign policy and revise sanctions

For now he will leave sanctions on top targets such as China and Iran. However, he has said that he wants to work with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal a move that would require that the US lift sanctions on Iran.

In contrast, the Trump administration increased sanctions against Iran in an apparent attempt to sabotage any attempt by Biden to employ diplomacy to settle issues with Iran. The Trump administration has acted in a similar fashion towards China and sanctioned members of China’s legislature.

According to Reuters, BIden will go through Trump administration sanctions and decide which ones to keep and which to list. However, Biden made it clear that he will continue to use sanctions as a central instrument of US foreign policy. The revised sanctions policy will not be deployed with the accompany America First rhetoric used in the Trump application of the policy.

According to Reuters
one person close to the Biden transition team said: “It won’t be a pullback or a push forward. It will be a readjustment in the use of the sanctions tool.”

Likely Biden changes

According to sources, Biden is likely to remove sanctions on the International Court of Justice that the Trump administration had sanctioned over the court’s investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan. Biden might also increase sanctions against Russia for its alleged role in the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navatny.

On China, a source close to the transition team claimed the Biden is likely to increase sanctions due to alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong, in Xinjiang area and possibly Tibet. The threat of such sanctions could be used in trade negotiations according to an anonymous Biden advisor.

Trump used sanctions more than Obama

According to data compiled by the thin tank the Center for a New American Security, the Obama administration administered 2,350 sanction designations, compared to a much larger 3,800 by Trump.

Cuban sanctions

Cuba illustrates how sanctions can often have a devastatingly negative impact on civilian populations of countries targeted while failing to achieve US goals, in this case regime change. Even after a 60 year embargo the US has failed to dislodge the Cuban communist government.

Biden may possibly give some relief to Cuba from sanctions. A Bloomberg story published recently claimed that Biden was planning to move towards normalized relations with Cuba by removing some of the sanctions and restrictions placed on Cuba by Trump.

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