The word embargo came from the Spanish embargar which means to stop, prevent or hold back. In international relations it is a detrimental and special (not applied in normal trading practice) measure that has an intentionally punitive characteristic.
international trade it can mean the traditional tools of protectionism
(limiting or banning export or import, creating quotas for quantity,
imposing special tolls, taxes or fees). Also banning freight or
transport vehichels (ships or planes) from the area of a country.
Freezing or seizing freights, assets, bank accounts, etc.. Limiting the
transport of particular technologies or products (high-tech) for example
COCOM during the cold-war. Discriminating between products that have
civic and military applications can be problematic. Embargoes can be
aimed and limiting loans or tightening credit conditions. Monetary
sanctions can affect bank transfers, freezing government or business
accounts or financial services. Typically these alone can discourage
foreign investors. Embargo can also mean restricting the free travel of
particular business people or politicians.
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