Export Control Act - Post World War II Use

Post World War II Use

After World War II, the Export Control Act was expanded to prevent the diversion of advanced technology to the Soviet bloc and China and, in later years, to alter the behavior of foreign countries. Scarcity of certain goods in the world markets made continuance of controls necessary in order to prevent a drain on such goods from plentiful American supplies, with its consequential inflationary influence. It was envisioned that remaining controls would soon disappear at the time of re-enactment in 1949, but national security and foreign policy, especially following the outbreak of the Korean War, were new and compelling reasons for extending the Export Control Act of 1949 in 1951, 1953, 1956 and again in 1958. The Export Control Act of 1949 is an example of the type of legislation that it renders, subject to the regulations promulgated under it, all persons wherever situated. Under its provisions exports of scarce materials are controlled both from an economic standpoint—short supply and consequent inflationary effect on foreign demand; and the security standpoint-- autarchy and self-sufficiency in strategic resources not available in sufficiently large quantities. These are both domestic policies aimed primarily at conditions within the United States, but controls are also directed at conditions outside the country as an instrument of foreign policy. This is exemplified by the restrictions on export of certain strategic or military items to the Soviet bloc or to other countries which it felt, if permitted, would be detrimental to the foreign policy program of the US. This latter motive became so strong that it brought legislation directing the President to enlist the cooperation of other nations in enacting controls on trade with the Soviet block to parallel those of the United States. The benefits of the various economic and military aid programs were to be withheld from non-cooperating nations.

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