Strategic Trade Controls as a Foreign Policy Tool in Strategic Competition: Implications of a Shift Beyond Global Nonproliferation Goals

February 28, 2024
Hyuk Kim and Robert Shaw

The following is an excerpt from Strategic Trade Review.

Over the past decades, strategic trade controls (STC) have undergone significant transformations, with end-use and end-users emerging as primary risk factors in export risk assessment amidst strategic competition. This evolution signifies a paradigm shift from the traditional global nonproliferation goal of STC, which primarily targets non-state actors as stipulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, towards leveraging STC as an instrument for advancing specific states’ national security and foreign policy objectives. This paper delineates three predominant trends characterizing the utilization of end-use/r-based controls by states. Furthermore, it explores the ramifications of these trends for national foreign policy interests and the universality of nonproliferation at the international level.

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