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CoCom and American Export Control Policy: The Experience of the Reagan Administration

  • Michael Mastanduno

Abstract

In the postwar era, East-West trade has proven to be among the most divisive issues confronting the Atlantic Alliance. The United States and its West European allies have differed significantly with regard to their economic interest in East-West trade, their perception of the political or strategic utility of controlling such trade, and their overall conception of the relationship between East-West trade and national security. American officials have generally favored broader and deeper restrictions on trade than have other members of the alliance. During the cold war (1949–69) and again in the early years of the Reagan administration, US officials favored a strategy of economic warfare, or the use of broad export restrictions to retard the growth of the Soviet economy. Alternatively, the US at various times has pursued a linkage strategy, seeking to condition trade in accordance with Soviet domestic or foreign behavior. Other Western governments generally have found neither strategy appealing and have resisted US efforts to obtain their cooperation.1 As the disputes over Afghanistan, Poland, and the pipeline suggest, such efforts have resulted in significant conflict and confrontation in the Alliance.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Wall Street Journal Reagan Administration Export Control Commerce Department 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Gary Bertsch (ed.), Controlling East-West Trade and Technology Transfer: Power, Politics and Policies (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1988);Google Scholar
  2. Reinhard Rode and Hanns-D. Jacobsen (eds), Economic Warfare or Detente? An Assessment of East-West Relations in the 1980s (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1985);Google Scholar
  3. Bruce Jentleson, Pipeline Politics: The Complex Political Economy of East-West Energy Trade (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986);Google Scholar
  4. Michael Mastanduno, “Strategies of Economic Containment,” World Politics 37 (July 1985): 503–31;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Angela Stent and Ellen Frost, “NATO’s Troubles with East-West Trade,” International Security 8 (Summer 1983): 179–200;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. and Office of Technology Assessment, Technology and East-West Trade ( Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1979 ).Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    See Central Intelligence Agency, Soviet Acquisition of Western Technology (April 1982); Soviet Acquisition of Militarily Significant Western Technology: An Update (Washington, DC: US Department of Defense, September 1985); Philip Hanson, “New Light on Soviet Industrial Espionage,” Radio Liberty RL 36/86 (January 20, 1986); and “Soviet Industrial Espionage,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists April 1987, pp. 25–9.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    US Department of Defense, Report to the 98th Congress, The Technology Transfer Program (February 1984), pp. 11–12.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    According to the Treasury Department, between 1981 and 1985 Exodus was responsible for over 4300 seizures valued at $300 million. US Department of the Treasury, Customs Service, Operation Exodus, Customs Publication No. 600 (October 1985).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See Linda Melvern, et al., Technobandits: How the Soviets are Stealing America’s High Tech Future (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1984) p. 137; Financial Times November 1, 1983, p. 12; and East European Markets December 10, 1984, p. 1.Google Scholar
  11. 28.
    Kenneth Abbott, “Linking Trade to Political Goals: Foreign Policy Export Controls in the 1970s and 1980s,” Minnesota Law Review 65 (1981): 739–889.Google Scholar
  12. 32.
    National Academy of Sciences, Balancing the National Interest ( Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1987 ) p. 139.Google Scholar
  13. 37.
    General Accounting Office, Export Licensing: Commerce-Defense Review of Applications to Certain Free World Nations (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, September 10, 1986) p. 10.Google Scholar
  14. 38.
    The United States asserts the right to control the re-export of American-origin products, components, or technology from one foreign country to another. US Department of Commerce, Export Administration Regulations October 1, 1985, Section 374. See also the contribution by Meesen in this volume.Google Scholar
  15. 44.
    Kevin Cahill, Trade Wars: The High Technology Scandal of the 1980s ( London: W. H. Allen, 1986 ) pp. 127–8.Google Scholar
  16. 55.
    For detailed discussion, see D. Collette Gonzalez, “How to Increase Technology Exports Without Risking National Security—An In-Depth Look at the Export Administration Amendments Act of 1985,” Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Journal 8 (1986): 399–510.Google Scholar
  17. 67.
    David Baldwin, Economic Statecraft ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David A. Baldwin and Helen V. Milner 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Mastanduno

There are no affiliations available

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