Embargo

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An embargo is the partial or complete prohibition of commerce and trade with a particular country, in order to isolate it. Embargoes are considered strong diplomatic measures imposed in an effort, by the imposing country, to elicit a given national-interest result from the country on which it is imposed. Embargoes are similar to economic sanctions and are generally considered legal barriers to trade, not to be confused with blockades, which are often considered to be acts of war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

.
The Embargo of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807
The Embargo Act of 1807 and the subsequent Nonintercourse Acts were American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade between the years of 1807 and 1812. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests...

 was a series of laws passed by the U.S. Congress 1806–1808, during the second term of President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

. Britain and France were engaged in a major war; the U.S. wanted to remain neutral and trade with both sides, but neither side wanted the other to have the American supplies. The American national-interest goal was to use the new laws to avoid war, punish Britain, and force that country to respect American rights.

One of the most comprehensive attempts at an embargo happened during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. In an attempt to cripple the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 economically, the Continental System
Continental System
The Continental System or Continental Blockade was the foreign policy of Napoleon I of France in his struggle against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars. It was a large-scale embargo against British trade, which began on November 21, 1806...

 – which forbade European nations from trading with the UK – was created. In practice it was not completely enforceable and was as harmful if not more so to the nations involved than to the British.

The United States imposed an embargo on Cuba on February 7, 1962. Referred to by Cuba as "el bloqueo" (the blockade), the US embargo on Cuba
United States embargo against Cuba
The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960...

 remains one of the longest standing embargoes. While taking some steps to allow limited economic exchanges with Cuba, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 stated that, without improved human rights and freedoms by Cuba's current government, the embargo remains "in the national interest of the United States." The embargo has, thus far, had very limited success in bringing about any such changes in Cuban policies, as it is widely criticized and has, more significantly, been completely disregarded, even by many countries considered to be avowed allies of the United States.

Oddly enough, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 law prohibits participation in secondary embargoes. This occurs when one country pressures a business to stop doing business with a third country over issues with which the business is not directly involved. Not only is an American business required not to participate in a secondary embargo, but is also required to report all attempts to get a business to participate in a secondary embargo. The situation which led to these laws are attempts by Arab countries
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 to prevent American companies from doing business with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

  and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

In effort to punish South Africa for its policies of apartheid, the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 adopted a voluntary international oil embargo against South Africa on November 20, 1987; that embargo had the support of 130 countries.

Embargoes are complex in their international meaning. In response to embargoes, an independent economy or autarky
Autarky
Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic policies. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance. Autarky is not necessarily economic. For example, a military autarky...

 often develops in an area subjected to heavy embargo. Effectiveness of embargoes are thus necessarily in direct proportion to the extent and degree of international participation.

List of countries under embargo

  • China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     (by EU and US), arms embargo, enacted in response to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

  • Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

     (by US
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     and US international allies), notably bar nuclear, missile and many military exports to Iran and target investments in oil, gas and petrochemicals, exports of refined petroleum products, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, banks, insurance, financial transactions and shipping. enacted 1979, increased through the following years and reached its tightest point in 2010
  • North Korea
    North Korea
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

     (by UN
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on 12 June 2009. The resolution, passed under Chapter VII, Article 41, of the UN Charter, imposes further economic and commercial sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ...

    , USA
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    , EU), luxury good
    Luxury good
    Luxury goods are products and services that are not considered essential and associated with affluence.The concept of luxury has been present in various forms since the beginning of civilization. Its role was just as important in ancient western and eastern empires as it is in modern societies...

    s (and arms), enacted 2006
  • Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     (by UK), nuclear exports restriction, enacted 2002
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
    Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

    , (by UN), consumer goods, enacted 1975
  • Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

     (by US), arms, consumer goods, money, enacted 1960
  • Georgia
    Georgia (country)
    Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

     (by Russia
    2006 Russian ban of Moldovan and Georgian wines
    The 2006 Russian import ban of Moldovan and Georgian wines began in late March 2006 and created a diplomatic conflict between the Republic of Moldova and Georgia on the one hand and Russia on the other...

    ), agricultural products, wine, mineral water, enacted 2006
  • Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

     (by Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

    ), consumer goods, enacted 2010
  • Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

     (by United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    ), weapons, enacted 2011 after mass killings of Libyan protesters/rebels.
  • Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , animal shipments due to lack of infrastructure and radiation issue after the 2011 9.0 earthquake aftermath.
  • Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

    , ( by Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ) cattle, enacted since 2011
  • Gaza Strip
    Gaza Strip
    thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

     by Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

     since 2001

Former embargoes

  • FR Yugoslavia (by UN)
  • India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     (by UK), nuclear exports restriction, 2002–2008
  • North Vietnam
    North Vietnam
    The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

     (1964–1975) and later Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

     (1975–1994), trade embargo by the US
  • Republic of Macedonia
    Republic of Macedonia
    Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

     (by Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

    ), complete trade embargo (1994-1995).

See also

  • Arms embargo
    Arms embargo
    An arms embargo is an embargo that applies to weaponry. It may also include "dual use" items. An arms embargo may serve one or more purposes:# to signal disapproval of behavior by a certain actor,# to maintain neutral standing in an ongoing conflict, or...

  • 1973 oil crisis
    1973 oil crisis
    The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

  • European Union arms embargo on the People's Republic of China
    European Union arms embargo on the People's Republic of China
    Relations between the European Union and the People's Republic of China were established in 1975 and the two are each others' largest trading partners. A major point of contention in relations is the EU's arms ban to China.-Agreements:...

  • Embargo Act of 1807
    Embargo Act of 1807
    The Embargo Act of 1807 and the subsequent Nonintercourse Acts were American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade between the years of 1807 and 1812. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests...

  • Former Yugoslavia
    Former Yugoslavia
    The former Yugoslavia is a term used to describe the present day states which succeeded the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia....

     Embargo November 21, 1995 Dayton Peace Accord
  • United States embargoes and permanent normal trade relations
  • United States embargo against Cuba
    United States embargo against Cuba
    The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960...

  • United States embargo against Nigeria
  • CoCom
    CoCom
    CoCom is an acronym for Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. CoCom was established by Western bloc powers in the first five years after the end of World War II, during the Cold War, to put an arms embargo on COMECON countries.CoCom ceased to function on March 31, 1994, and the...


  • Boycott
    Boycott
    A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

  • International sanctions
    International sanctions
    International sanctions are actions taken by countries against others for political reasons, either unilaterally or multilaterally.There are several types of sanctions....