Comparing the number of names on the sanctions lists under two different presidents doesn’t tell the whole story about their policy regarding the use of sanctions, other political factors come into play, such as action by Congress and world events. But it is interesting comparing the first 3 years of Trump to the last 3 years of Obama.

Iran of course has been hugely escalated by the Trump administration, while the Obama de-escalation of Cuban sanction has been halted. Russia / Ukraine related sanctions has risen on an established gradient as has crime and drug related sanctions. The situation in Syria has really driven the change there rather than a change in policy. The initial Trump escalation of North Korea sanctions has been put on hold while America and North Korea come to terms.

Perhaps more under the radar is the increase in generic terrorism/WMD sanctions which has grown steadily under Trump.

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