By Michael Jones (

Anyone in the U.S. is familiar with them.  North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Syria, and Cuba: the main countries that the U.S. does not get along with.  For those of us in international business, we also know that our mutual dislike extends into the economic sphere.  All of these countries have had embargoes placed upon them by the U.S. government, and trade is either nonexistent or severely limited as a result.  However, there is much more to the U.S.’s system of embargoes than is on the surface, both in the countries that are affected beyond the obvious choices, and how every country is affected differently.  This blog series will attempt to explain some of the intricacies and lesser known aspects of this system in order to inform the international businessperson as to its reality.

There are many examples of unlikely countries that are being embargoed.  For instance, did you know that the U.S. has an arms embargo against Haiti?  It’s true.  Despite Haiti seeming like an incredibly unlikely aggressor state, the U.S. is compliant with a UN Security Council decision to  block arms sales to the tiny island nation after a period of violent military rule in the early 1990s; a decision that continues to be enforced today despite regime change.  However, the situation is currently a bit more complicated.  Starting in 2006, the U.S. allowed for a partial lifting of the embargo, which permits arms sales to some groups in Haiti such as the Haitian coast guard, but not others.  Even today, the rules regarding acceptable end users in Haiti for arms are constantly changing.

For anyone interested in conducting business with Haiti, the shifting arms embargo can make progress difficult to proceed.  Contact TSI Global Consulting at 210-757-0618 for help navigating these restrictions in Haiti, or in any other country that is currently under U.S. embargo.

Please check back next week for part 2 of this blog series, in which we will look at more unexpected countries that are being embargoed.

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