No. 131
Editorial Note

NSC 152/2, “Economic Defense,” July 31, 1953, a policy statement approved by the National Security Council on July 30 and by the President on July 31, defined United States policy concerning trade with the Soviet bloc. Paragraph 16 distinguished Communist China from the Soviet Union and the Eastern European members of the Soviet bloc:

“Economic defense policies toward Communist China differ from those toward the rest of the Soviet bloc since Communist China is a military aggressor.”

The “General Objectives” section of the paper reads as follows:

“18. With respect to the Soviet bloc excluding Communist China:

To control selectively exports of commodities and supply of services from the free world which contribute significantly to the war potential of the Soviet bloc.
To obtain the maximum net security advantage for the free world from economic intercourse which takes place between the free world and the Soviet bloc.
To decrease the reliance of free world countries on trade with the Soviet bloc.
To increase the political and economic unity of the free world.
To decrease, through skillful flexibility in applying controls, the political and economic unity of the Soviet bloc.

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“19. With respect to Communist China, in the light of the Korean armistice, and pending a political settlement in Korea and a review of basic policies toward Communist China and Korea, maintain the present U.S. level of controls on transactions with Communist China and continue intensified efforts to persuade our allies to refrain from relaxing their controls on trade with Communist China.” (S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 152 Series)

For the full text of NSC 152, along with related documentation, see volume I, Part 2, pages 968 ff.