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(trade restrictions), the economic isolation of one or more countries by any state or group of states for the purpose of stopping or suspending the import of goods.
Trade embargoes are employed by capitalist states as an aggressive means of tariff policy. Based on the application of prohibitive and punitive super-protectionist tariffs, they are used in combination with foreign-exchange control, quantitative restrictions and quotas, and prohibitions on export to or import from a certain country. For example, the USA in 1975 introduced prohibitive tariffs on petroleum in order to force importers to reduce prices. In May 1975 it imposed a politically motivated trade embargo of Cambodia and the Republic of South Vietnam after the victory of the national liberation movements in those countries.
Trade embargoes slow the economic development of the blockaded country. In certain instances, however, they may serve progressive goals. In the early 1970’s, the Arab League imposed a trade embargo of Israel and prohibited all trade with foreign companies that cooperated with Israel. Most states have imposed a trade embargo on the Republic of South Africa and Rhodesia in protest against the racist regimes of those countries.
L. I. TUL’CHINSKII