460.509/1–2953: Telegram

No. 69
The Secretary of State to the Office of the Special Representative in Europe


Topol 793. Excon.

We are still of view embargo to China1 most appropriate arrangement in interest free world security but prepared authorize USDel participation in consideration and development quantitative control of antibiotics and sulfonamides to Communist China provided USDel believes no possibility achieve embargo.
In such participation, you may point out that we still think embargo most appropriate but, in view reaction some PC’s, we are willing consider establishment system effective multilateral restrictions over exports such drugs to China as promptly as possible. We believe that any control, to be effective, must result in substantial reduction shipments to China. In this connection, selection of base period, recognition to be accorded national production in setting up quotas, and nontransferability of unused national quotas, would be important elements.
Fact that US may be compelled to apply PD 8102 procedures to these drugs should be introduced by USDel in manner and at [Page 131] time best calculated to speed agreement by CHINCOM on effective control system. In presenting this fact, you may wish point out that large exports by US to Western Europe coupled with exports by latter to China raise question whether US export controls being nullified. You may say that US has been reluctant take any action regarding special problem such exports because it is US concern not to take action which might be construed as intent bring coercive pressure on voluntary multilateral negotiations. However, we cannot long delay facing up to this issue from view point effectiveness US control system. We have decided put issue off for period of one month to six weeks, but cannot do so for longer.
Strategic uses antibiotics and sulfonamides in European Soviet Bloc indicate necessity controls over export levels by COCOM countries.
Moreover, agreement on effective quantitative controls for China requires a consistent quantitative controls program covering exports to the European Soviet Bloc in order prevent nullification former.
Timing of introduction this subject to COCOM is at your discretion but should be done with aim quickest possible disposition of entire subject within time limit indicated para 3 above.
In discussing quantitative control proposals, you should aim for arrangement which comes close as possible to representing embargo. Any control developed should provide basis for substantial recognition for countries not likely use their quotas, such as Canada and US, since nonfulfillment these quotas very significant element in restrictive effect of controls.3
  1. Reference is to a U.S. proposal, made in the China Committee on Dec. 16, 1952, to add sulfonamides and antibiotics to the COCOM China embargo list. (Polto 1024 from Paris, Dec. 18, 1952; 460.509/12–1852)
  2. Reference is to Program Determination No. 810 by the Advisory Committee on Economic Policy, which stated that export licenses for the shipment of items on specified U.S. security lists to friendly foreign countries should be granted only if there was adequate assurance that the country of destination would not knowingly permit the export of identical items to the Soviet Bloc, directly or indirectly. (ACEP Program Determination No. 810 (Revision 1), Aug. 3, 1953; Department of Commerce files)
  3. On May 30, after several months of discussion and negotiations, the China Committee agreed on a system of quantitative controls on antibiotics and sulfonamides, with quotas totaling $7 million; the agreement became effective July 12. On Nov. 19, the Committee agreed to discontinue the controls as of Jan. 1, 1954. (Polto 2318 of May 30, 1953; Polto 81 of July 15, 1953; and Polto 865 of Nov. 20, 1953, all from Paris; 490.009/5–3053, 493.009/7–1553, and 460.509/11–2053, respectively) Further documentation on the work of the China Committee is in files 460.509 and 493.009 and in CA files, lot 58 D 401.