Shifts in the global economy have altered Washington’s sanctions calculus. In today’s era of great power competition, priority threats are no longer rogue states with little economic clout but nations with systemically important financial institutions and economic linkages. Russia and China top the list.
America’s sanctions strategy, however, hasn’t evolved to meet this challenge. Section 311 of the Patriot Act remains a powerful tool, but its collateral costs are too high to confront banks that are too big to fail. It’s time for a new Economic Patriot Act that can provide the scalpel-like instruments Washington needs to thwart our adversaries with speed and precision.