East-West Economic Relations (1960–85)

  • David W. Hunter


Following the election of Wladyslaw Gomulka as First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sought an expansion of U.S. trade with Poland in order to encourage polycentrism in Eastern Europe, but he found his hands tied by Congressional legislation. In 1957, then Senator John F. Kennedy proposed a modification of the Battle Act to allow the President more flexibility in trade with Eastern Europe in order to wean the captive nations away from their Kremlin masters. This renewed the debate over CHINCOM and raised the question of whether one could have both strategic controls and differentiated trade between Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Would anyone believe that the Soviets were denied access to a strategic product which was sold in Eastern Europe but not in the USSR?1


Foreign Policy European Economic Community Credit Policy National Security Council Favored Nation 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    See Z. Brzezinski’s personal account of this bridge-building, in G.R. Urban, Detente (New York: University Books, 1978) p. 262.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brzezinski, Detente, p. 262.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Yergin (Stent), East-West Technology Transfer: European Perspectives (London: Sage, 1980).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. Oakeshott, ‘The Strategic Embargo,’ The World Today (1963) p. 245.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    World Petroleum No. 5 (May 1963) p. 29.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Declassified Documents Quarterly, 1980, 2d Qtr., NSC, p. 169-C, Summary Record of NSC Meeting (1 October 1963) ‘Proposed Sale of U.S. Wheat to the USSR.’Google Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    Harold J. Berman, ‘A Reappraisal of U.S.-USSR Trade Policy,’ Harvard Business Review (July–August 1964) pp. 139–40, says that the wheat sale sparked off a national debate on whether the U.S. should or should not trade with the USSR.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    For a legal analysis of the basis for Castro’s expropriation of U.S. factories, which led the State Department to invoke economic sanctions, see Monroe Leigh, ‘The Supreme Court and the Sabbatino Watchers,’ Virginia Journal of International Law (Fall 1972). In this article, he explains that the U.S. Supreme Court actually found the State Department guilty of aggression in suspending Cuba’s sugar quota in an effort to displace Castro, and that his annexing of U.S. property could be seen as a just reprisal.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    U.S. State Department, ‘Presidential Talking Points Paper,’ for the visit of British Prime Minister Douglas-Home, dated 7 February 1964.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J.J. Marshall, ‘Foreign Policy Aspects of American Trade Regulations,’ University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, Vol. 24 (April 1966) p. 73.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    L.T. Lee and John McCobb, Jr, ‘U.S. Trade Embargo on China, 1949–1970,’ New York Journal of International Law and Politics (Spring 1971), p. 10. ‘The first dent in the economic “Great Wall” occurred on July 23, 1969, when the Foreign Asset Control Regulations were amended by the Nixon Administration to permit American tourists to bring home up to $100.00 worth of Chinese goods.’Google Scholar
  14. See also Henry Kissinger, White House Years (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1979) p. 179. ‘The time had come to modify our trade embargo against China. The actual change was unimportant but the symbolism was vast.’Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    C.F. Redick, ‘Recent Changes in the U.S. Trade Regulations Affecting the PRC: A Market Decontrolled,’ Virginia Journal of International Law (Fall 1972) provides a full list of decontrol measures.Google Scholar
  16. 15.
    Richard Nixon, The Real War (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1980) p. 226. ‘In 1972 we wanted Soviet help in extricating ourselves from Vietnam … Trade was one of the principal things we had to offer in return for political and diplomatic concessions.’Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    See the list of agreements signed in Moscow at this Summit.Google Scholar
  18. 17.
    It should be pointed out the term ‘most-favored-nation’ is misleading, and does not give its recipient most favored treatment, but only equal treatment to other trading partners.Google Scholar
  19. 18.
    Paula Stern, Water’s Edge (London: Greenwood Press, 1979) p. 132. ‘Was this an effort to find a way out of the emigration empasse? Or, was Jackson using the negotiations … as a tactic for delaying and possibly killing the Trade Bill?’Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    Ibid, p. 142.Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    Jürgen Notzold, ‘East-West Economic Relations,’ Aussenpolitik, Vol. 32, No. 4 (1981) p. 381, says that it was the attempt explicitly to link economic concessions and political demands that doomed the strategy of drawing the Soviets into a more dependent relationship in the framework of detente.Google Scholar
  22. 21.
    See Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, p. 26850, for the agreement between Kissinger and Jackson to keep secret the Soviet emigration quota.Google Scholar
  23. 22.
    According to Daniel Yergin, ‘Politics and Soviet-American Trade: The Three Questions,’ Foreign Affairs (April 1977) p. 531, the USSR reluctantly agreed to accept the ‘publicized’ Jackson-Vanik amendment, but the Stevenson amendment limiting credits to $300 million destroyed the package.Google Scholar
  24. 23.
    L. Brezhnev, Report to the 24th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.Google Scholar
  25. 24.
    Richard Pipes, in G.R. Urban, Detente (New York: University Books, 1976) p. 172.Google Scholar
  26. 25.
    G.K. Bertsch, ‘U.S. Export Controls: The 1970s and Beyond,’ Journal of World Trade Law, Vol. 15, No. 1 (1981) p. 76.Google Scholar
  27. 26.
    K.W. Abbott, ‘Linking Trade to Political Goals,’ Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 65 (1980–1981) p. 795.Google Scholar
  28. 27.
    R.S. Elliott, ‘Comment: The Export Administration Act of 1970: Latest Statutory Resolution,’ Columbia Journal of International Law, Vol. 19 (1981) p. 288.Google Scholar
  29. 28.
    Cited in R. Paarlberg, ‘Lessons of the Grain Embargo,’ Foreign Affairs (Fall 1980) pp. 152–3.Google Scholar
  30. 29.
    Alan Abouchar, ‘The Case for the U.S. Grain Embargo,’ The World Today, Vol. 37 (July–August 1981) p. 277.Google Scholar
  31. 30.
    U.S. News and World Report (3 August 1981) p. 72.Google Scholar
  32. 31.
    S.E. Ambrose, Rise to Globalism (London: Penguin, 1971) p. 113.Google Scholar
  33. 32.
    For example, see D. F. Fleming, The Cold War and its Origins (New York: Doubleday, 1961).Google Scholar
  34. 33.
    J. Fitchett, ‘West and Poland: Test for NATO,’ International Herald Tribune (31 March 1981) p. 4.Google Scholar
  35. 34.
    Information confidentially provided to the author by a member of the Ditchley meeting. See also: Ditchley Conference Report (August 1981) p. 5, for a partial rendition.Google Scholar
  36. 35.
    Cited in International Herald Tribune (4 September 1981) p. 2, under title ‘Economy seen as a factor in Soviet restraint.’Google Scholar
  37. 36.
  38. 37.
    Fitchett, ‘War and Poland.’Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    Time Magazine (5 July 1982) p. 10.Google Scholar
  40. 39.
    Michel Tatu, ‘East-West Trade — Europe’s Spoilt Kids,’ as reprinted in Manchester Guardian Weekly, Vol. 127 (1 August 1982) p. 11.Google Scholar
  41. 40.
    Author’s personal interview with William Martin, NSC Staff (29 October 1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David William Hunter 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Hunter

There are no affiliations available

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