East-West Economic Relations

In a memorandum in late November 1982 Clark distributed NSDD 66 signed by Ronald Reagan to key officials of the administration. It was in principle a declaration of economic war on the Soviet Union. In a summary of conclusions, which was added to the directive, is stated that representatives of the United States, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom had in conversations reached the following conclusions:

“1. They recognize the necessity of conducting their relations with the USSR and Eastern Europe on the basis of a global and comprehensive policy designed to serve their common fundamental security interests. They are particularly conscious of the need that action in the economic field be consistent with that global and comprehensive policy and thus be based on a common approach. They are resolved together to take the necessary steps to remove differences and to ensure that future decisions by their governments on these issues are taken on the basis of an analysis of the East-West relationship as a whole, with due regard for their respective interests and in a spirit of mutual trust and confidence.

2. The following criteria should govern the economic dealings of their countries with the Soviet Union and East European countries:

–That they will not undertake trade agreements, or take steps, which contribute to the military or strategic advantage and capabilities of the USSR.

– That it is not in their interest to subsidize the Soviet economy; trade should be conducted in a prudent manner without preferential treatment.


3. As an immediate decision and following decisions already made, they have further agreed on the following:

(a) Building on the conclusions of the High-Level Meeting, they will work together within the framework of the Coordinating Committee (COCOM) to protect their contemporary security interests: the list of strategic items will be evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted. This objective will be pursued at the COCOM Review now under way. They will take the necessary measures to strengthen the effectiveness and responsiveness of COCOM and to enhance their national mechanism as necessary to enforce COCOM decisions.

(b) They have informed each other that during the course of the study on energy requirements, they will not sign, or approve the signing by their companies of, new contracts with the Soviet Union for the purchase of natural gas.” (Memorandum by William P. Clark, November 29, 1982 with attachment).

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