In recent decades, the United States has imposed trade sanctions with increasing frequency and in pursuit of a growing variety of foreign policy goals. These sanctions can have tremendous economic and human costs in the targeted nations, especially for the poorest segments of their populations. What accounts for why policy makers apply sanctions when they do and in the form they do? Why impose sanctions on some nations but not on other nations behaving in similar fashion? Why apply comprehensive sanctions in some cases and limited sanctions in others? Which industries are hurt by sanctions, which industries benefit, and how are such costs and benefits weighed in the pursuit of broader foreign policy goals. This project attempts to address these questions by examining how sanctions are proposed and designed, what determines whether proposed sanctions are actually imposed, their type, severity, and duration.