316. Memorandum From Secretary of Commerce Stans to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Removal of Validated Export License Controls over Shipments of Selected Commodities to Eastern European Countries (including the USSR)

In my memorandum to you of October 21, 1969, on the above subject,2 I recommended for immediate decontrol to Eastern Europe approximately 135 items on our Commodity Control List. As you know, we have been advised on several occasions by your office to coast before proceeding. Additional review has found 81 more items (Attachment A)3 that should be decontrolled. State, Defense, Interior, AEC, NASA, and CIA have participated in the reviews of these items, and all agree that they are of no strategic importance.

The last time that the Department of Commerce announced any decontrol actions to Eastern Europe was in May 1968. Since that time, the hearings on the Export Control Act and the language of the Export Administration Act of 1969 clearly indicate that Congress wants a reduction in our controls to Eastern Europe. In addition, there are numerous public indications that the business community is eagerly awaiting decontrol actions.

In response to your memorandum of February 27,4 I have submitted to you separately recommendations of the “Interagency Ad Hoc Group on Implementation of Export Administration Act of 1969,”5 which I chaired. There is unanimous interagency agreement that there would be no inconsistency between now decontrolling the 216 items referred to above and any future decisions made pursuant to above-mentioned broad policy review submitted March 19.

Accordingly, unless you have reservations, I propose to decontrol these 216 items March 31 so that such action can be included in the First Quarter 1970 Report on Export Control by the Secretary of Commerce to the President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, as required [Page 816] under the Export Administration Act of 1969. By such action, the Administration would be demonstrating responsiveness without compromising national security.

Maurice H. Stans
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 213, Commerce Volume I 1970. Secret.
  2. Not found. Reference may be to Tab B to Document 306.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See Document 315.
  5. Not found.