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CAATSA: More of the Same, a Novelty, or a Hidden Danger?
On August 2, 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the latest American legislation promising sanctions against the Russian Federation. Both President Trump and the European Union (EU) have voiced reservations about CAATSA. However, in important ways, the measure may differ from past U.S. sanctions against Russia. Whether CAATSA will affect the Kremlin’s policies in ways favourable to Washington remains a key open and debated question.
The CAATSA may become but the latest instance in a long history of American sanctions targeting first the Soviet Union and then Russia. The various efforts have been variably successful. The 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, which withheld the most favored nation status in trade from the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia so long as the emi