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From consensus to conflict: the domestic political economy of East-West energy trade policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2009

Bruce W. Jentleson
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.
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Abstract

Changes in the domestic politics of East-West energy trade policy indicate a more general transformation of the domestic politics of American foreign policy. In the postwar period the basic, consensual pattern of congressional bipartisanship, executivebranch unity, interest-group collaboration, and a supportive public has been replaced by the conflictual pattern of an assertive Congress, a fragmented executive branch, antagonistic interest groups, and a divided public. These contrasting patterns are manifestations of structural changes in the domestic political economy. Along both political and economic dimensions, and differentiated according to whether the locus of pressure was group-specific or more general, what had been basic foundations of consensus became by the early 1970s fissures of conflict. Of particular significance were the weakening of the macropolitical foundations (the basic accord on foreignpolicy objectives and strategies) in the wake of both Vietnam and detente and the increased marginal value of the economic costs, both diffuse (macroeconomic) and particularistic (microeconomic), to be paid for economic coercion. In this transformed context, the state's support-building instruments of ideology and economic compensation were insufficient to build consensus. As a result, in this issue area and perhaps more generally, high levels of domestic constraints on the conduct of American foreign policy have become the rule rather than the exception.

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Copyright
Copyright © The IO Foundation 1984

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References

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2. See, for example, Holsti, Ole R. and Rosenau, James N., American Leadership in World Affairs: Vietnam and the Breakdown of Consensus (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1984)Google Scholar; Quester, George H., American Foreign Policy: The Lost Consensus (New York: Praeger, 1982)Google Scholar.

3. On the intra-alliance dimension of these cases see Jentleson, Bruce W., Pipeline Politics: The Complex Political Economy of East-West Energy Trade (forthcoming), and “Khrushchev's Oil and Brezhnev's Natural Gas Pipelines,” in Lieber, Robert J., ed., Will Europe Fight for Oil? Energy Relations in the Atlantic Area (New York: Praeger, 1983)Google Scholar.

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21. Ibid., p. 792.

22. Congressional Record, 81st Cong., 1st sess., vol. 95, pt. 1 (17 02 1949), pp. 1368, 1370, 1379Google Scholar. Committee hearings were principally characterized by affirmations of the need for this action. See U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Banking and Currency, Subcommittee on S. 548, Extension of Export Controls, Hearings, , 81st Cong., 1st sess., 0102 1949Google Scholar; and U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Banking and Currency, Export Control Act of 1949, Hearings, , 81st Cong., 1st sess., 02 1949Google Scholar.

23. Report to the National Security Council by the Secretary of State, “Understandings on Export Control in East-West Trade,” NSC46, 3 05 1949Google Scholar, Carrolton Press, Declassified Document Index, 1975. Marshall made a similar statement to the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “In the European Recovery Program we regard it as very important to stimulate so far as possible East-West trade relations. That would be very helpful to the situation and would have material effects on reducing costs for us.” See U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. Foreign Policy for a Postwar Recovery Program, Hearings, 80th Cong., 1st and 2d sess., 19471948, pp. 1158–60Google Scholar.

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28. For a fuller account of the intra-alliance politics see Jentleson, Pipeline Politics, chaps. 3 and 4, and “Khrushchev's Oil, Brezhnev's Natural Gas.”

29. Sorensen, Theodore C., Kennedy (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 662Google Scholar. Sorensen stressed Kennedy's sense of impending crisis after Vienna: “I did not come away,” Kennedy confided in his trusted aide after the summit, “with any feeling that an understanding so that we do not go over the brink would be easy to reach” (p. 618). And in a televised speech commenting on the Berlin Wall, Kennedy told the nation that Americans had again reached “the great testing place of Western courage and will, a focal point where our solemn commitments …and Soviet ambitions now meet in basic confrontation” (p. 667).

30. Telegram, Secretary of State Rusk to American embassies in Western Europe, Sweden, Soviet Union, and Japan, 18 December 1962, National Security Files (NSF), Box 223, File: NATO, Pipe Embargo, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, Mass, (hereafter JFK Library).

31. CIA, Office of Research and Reports, “Estimated Impact of Western Economic Sanctions against the Sino-Soviet Bloc,” RR EP 61–47, 16 07 1961, pp. 2, 4–5 (microfiche collection, Carrollton Press, Declassified Document Index, 1977)Google Scholar.

32. State Department, memorandum, Hughes, Thomas to Rusk, Dean, “Western Efforts to Prevent Large Diameter Pipe Exports,” 3 04 1963Google Scholar, NSF, Box 314, JFK Library.

33. Memorandum, Secretary Rusk to the president, 26 February 1961, NSF, Box 176, USSR, JFK Library. A transition period task force chaired by George Ball had recommended going even further to “a virtual scrapping of the existing embargo” in favor of “a new policy that would acknowledge the mutual advantages of expanding East-West trade and that would invite the Soviet Union to join in a code of fair practices for international trade.” Sensing instant political death, Kennedy not only did not adopt this recommendation but never released the full text of the Ball report. New York Times, 8 January 1962, pp. 1, 16.

34. Congressional Record, 87th Cong., 2d sess., vol. 108, pt. 1 (1 02 1962), p. 1400Google Scholar.

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37. Congressional Record, 87th Cong., 2d sess., vol. 108, pt. 9 (23 06 1962), p. 11489Google Scholar.

38. The files of the JFK Library include, in addition to memos discussing these vigilante groups, letters received at the White House from members. See White House Central Files, Box 240, “Boycotts-Embargoes.” The New York Times ran stories on these groups on 4, 13, and 14 November 1962.

39. Interestingly, one of the few sectors of East-West trade in which the British and French did not participate during this period was the oil trade. Like the United States, they had the interests of oil-producing nations (either possessing oil within national borders or controlling it through foreign ownership). West Germany and Italy, in contrast, were oil-consumer nations with an interest in diversified and cheaper supplies of oil.

40. Campbell, Robert W., The Economics of Soviet Oil and Gas (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968), p. 234Google Scholar.

41. Quoted in Hartshorn, J. E., Politics and World Oil Economics (New York: Praeger, 1967), pp. 1819Google Scholar.

42. Ibid., pp. 96–97. See also Tugendhat, Christopher, Oil: The Biggest Business (New York: Putnam's, 1968), pp. 258–60Google Scholar.

43. National Petroleum Council, Impact of Oil Exports from the Soviet Bloc (Washington, D.C., 1962), 2: 457Google Scholar.

44. Getty, in Journal of Commerce, 5 06 1961Google Scholar; Monroney in ibid., 11 July 1961 and 16 November 1961; Reed, in World Petroleum, 09 1961, pp. 5456Google Scholar.

45. Letter from Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kelly, John M. to Hallanan, Walter S., chairman of the NPC, quoted in National Petroleum Council, Impact of Oil Exports, 1:1Google Scholar.

46. National Security Council, Record of Actions no. 2455, 17 July 1962, NSF, Box 313, Meetings and Memoranda, Papers of President Kennedy, JFK Library.

47. Rusk also raised the economic inducement argument that trade could “influence them [the USSR] over the long run to become more responsible and peaceful member of the community of nations.” See State Department, Memorandum for the NSC, “Review of Export Control Policy,” 10 07 1962Google Scholar, NSF, Box 313, JFK Library.

48. Letter from Commerce Secretary Hodges to the president, 10 July 1962, NSF, Box 313, JFK Library.

49. See Stent, Angela E., From Embargo to Ostpolitik: The Political Economy of West German–Soviet Relations, 1955–1980 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980)Google Scholar, and Dean, Robert W., West German Trade with the East: The Political Dimension (New York: Praeger, 1974)Google Scholar.

50. These data are from the following sources: New York Times, 2 March 1963, pp. 1–2; Christian Science Monitor, 2 April 1963, p. 14; 25 November 1963, p. 14; 21 December 1963, p. 10; 17 February 1964, p. 7; and 26 February 1964, p. 7.

51. See telegram, State Department to Ambassador Reinhardt, 19 April 1962; telegram, Ambassador Reinhardt to secretary of state, 25 April 1962; telegram, Undersecretary McGhee to Ambassador Reinhardt, 25 April 1962; all in NSF, Countries: Italy, Box 120, JFK Library.

52. New York Times, 23 March 1963, pp. 1–2.

53. Ibid., 28 April 1963, sec. 3, pp. 1, 5.

54. Peterson, Peter G., U.S.-Soviet Commercial Relations in a New Era (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1972), p. 3Google Scholar.

55. The Basic Principles appear in Pranger, Robert J., ed., Détente and Defense: A Reader (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1976), pp. 114–16Google Scholar.

56. J. Richard Lee, “The Soviet Petroleum Industry: Problems and Prospects,” and Campbell, Robert, “Some Issues in Soviet Energy Policy for the Seventies,” both in U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee, Soviet Economic Prospects for the Seventies, Committee Print, 93d Cong., 1st sess., 1973Google Scholar. See also Hardt, John P., “West Siberia: The Quest for Energy,” Problems of Communism 22 (0506 1973)Google Scholar.

57. Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 19 September 1974, quoted in Kissinger, Henry A., American Foreign Policy, 3d ed. (New York: Norton, 1977), pp. 158–59Google Scholar.

58. Peterson, , U.S.-Soviet Commercial Relations, p. 14Google Scholar.

59. For further background on these projects see U.S. Congress, Senate, Foreign Relations Committee, Multinational Corporations and U.S. Foreign Policy, pt. 10, Hearings, 93d Cong., 2d sess., 1974Google Scholar, and Stowell, Christopher, Oil and Gas Development in the U.S.S.R. (Tulsa, Okla.: Petroleum Publishing, 1974)Google Scholar.

60. Included in Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Multinational Corporations and U.S. Foreign Policy, pt. 10, p. 109Google Scholar.

61. Business Week, 3 November 1975, pp. 30–31.

62. For example, during the actual OPEC embargo, the Soviets themselves, their revolutionary and pro-Arab rhetoric notwithstanding, acted as something of an alternative trade partner for the United States. American imports of Soviet oil, $7.5 million in 1972, shot up to $76.2 million in 1973 and $37.3 million in the first two months of 1974 (an annual rate of $200 million). See Klinghoffer, Arthur Jay, The Soviet Union and International Oil Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975)Google Scholar.

63. Testimony of Ray, Jack of Tenneco, in Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Multinational Corporations and U.S. Foreign Policy, pt. 10, pp. 361Google Scholar.

64. Safire, William, Before the Fall (New York: Doubleday, 1975), p. 451Google Scholar.

65. Kissinger, , American Foreign Policy, p. 145Google Scholar.

66. A detailed account of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment is provided in Stern, Paula, Water's Edge: Domestic Politics and the Making of American Foreign Policy (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1979)Google Scholar. See also Kissinger, Henry A., Years of Upheaval (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982), pp. 985–98Google Scholar.

67. George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, also did not buy the politico-strategic rationale for detente. He lambasted it as a “one-way street,” while one of his lieutenants lashed out at “businessmen and bankers, whose salaries are well over $100,000 per year, [who] flock to Moscow as if they were penurious Polish peasants beseeching the Czar for economic favors.” Meany is quoted in Morgan, Dan, Merchants of Grain (New York: Viking, 1979), p. 268Google Scholar; the COPE official, in Wolfe, Alan and Sanders, Jerry, “Resurgent Cold War Ideology: The Case of the Committee on the Present Danger,” in Fagen, Richard R., ed., Capitalism and the State in U.S.-Latin American Relations (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1979), p. 51Google Scholar.

68. Congressional Record, 93d Cong., 2d. sess., vol. 120, pt. 17, 2 07 1974, p. 24842Google Scholar.

69. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Multinational Corporations and U.S. Foreign Policy, pt. 10.

70. First they raised the issue of old Lend-Lease debts, only to have the Russians consent to a compromise agreement. It was soon thereafter, in fact only eight days before Nixon signed the bilateral trade treaty promising MFN to the Soviets, that they introduced their first MFN-Jewish emigration amendment.

71. High costs and engineering difficulties led to a change of plans: the already tapped Urengoi reserves, 150 miles to the south and only slightly less extensive, became the source of gas for this project. See Petroleum Economist, January 1982, p. 13, and U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), Technology and Soviet Energy Availability (Washington, D.C., 1981), pp. 1976 and 370–82Google Scholar.

72. The Yamal-Urengoi project was in some respects a revised and expanded version of North Star, with the gas now destined for Western Europe and with most of the export contracts also going to Western Europe. Yet efforts to resuscitate North Star continued. See Scott, Wilton E. and Ray, Jack, “The Role of Natural Gas in East-West Trade Relations,” in American Committee on East-West Accord, Common Sense in U.S.-Soviet Trade (Washington, D.C., 1979), pp. 4754Google Scholar.

73. Stern, Jonathan, “U.S. Controls and the Soviet Pipeline,” Washington Quarterly 5 (Autumn 1982), p. 53Google Scholar.

74. Annual Report to the Congress of the Secretary of Defense, FY 1983 (Washington, D.C., 1983), see. 1, pp. 2223, and see. 2, pp. 26–32Google Scholar.

75. Jentleson, Pipeline Politics, chaps. 6 and 7.

76. Gallup Opinion Index, Report no. 174 (January 1980), p. 8, and Report no. 203 (August 1962), p. 13.

77. Interview, Washington, D.C., 7 November 1983.

78. Testimony of Jenkins, Kempton B., vice-president of Armco, in U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, On the Effectiveness of U.S. Economic Pressures on Soviet Policy, Hearings, 97th Cong., 2d sess., 12 08 1982, p. 115Google Scholar.

79. Testimony of Harry Wells, president of United Auto Workers Local no. 1027, in U.S. Congress, House, Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittees on Europe and the Middle East and International Economic Policy and Trade, Export Controls on Oil and Gas Equipment, Hearings, 97th Cong., 1st and 2d sess., 11 1981–August 1982, p. 83Google Scholar.

80. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Economic Growth and Employment Projections, 1979 Employment Requirements Table (Washington, D.C., 1981)Google Scholar.

81. Wall Street Journal, 3 November 1982, p. 31.

82. Letter dated 5 February 1982. Copy obtained by the author from the U.S. Chamber.

83. Letter dated 11 August 1982. Copy obtained by the author from the NAM.

84. Testimony of Coyle, Robert H., sales manager of Caterpillar Tractor Co., in U.S. House, Export Controls on Oil and Gas Equipment, p. 78Google Scholar. Data also based on interviews with other Caterpillar executives, 8 November 1983, and personal communications.

85. Farmers had already been granted contract sanctity through legislation pushed by agricultural state legislators during the autumn of 1982 (i.e., during the campaign). The whole question of constraints on agricultural trade controls could be approached through the same analytic and historical approach here applied to the energy sector. The fate suffered by grain embargoer Jimmy Carter and the inviolability of grain trade amidst the Reagan administration's reversion to trade controls virtually everywhere else point to a similar pattern of politics with similar causality.

86. Opinion voiced by numerous interviewees, November 1983 and May 1984. The bill has been tied up in conference committee because it also contains controversial provisions concerning private investment in South Africa and the export to Alaskan oil. Final action is said to be unlikely until late 1984.

87. Business Week, 22 February 1982, p. 63. See also Haig, Alexander M. Jr, Caveat (New York: Macmillan, 1984)Google Scholar, chaps. 12 and 14.

88. Quoted in Business Week, 28 May 1979, pp. 24–26.

89. New York Times, 22 September 1983, p. 27.

90. Interviews, 7–11 November 1983.

91. Speech to the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies, excerpted in New York Times, 7 04 1984, p. 5Google Scholar.

92. This expression recurred with striking frequency in interviews with Reagan administration officials conducted 7–11 November 1983.

93. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Crisis in the Atlantic Alliance: Origins and Implications (Washington, D.C., 1982), p. 1Google Scholar.

94. Paarlberg, Robert L., “Lessons of the Grain Embargo,” Foreign Affairs 59 (Autumn 1980), pp. 144–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

95. Smith, Tom W., “The Polls: American Attitudes toward the Soviet Union and Communism,” Public Opinion Quarterly 47 (Summer 1983), p. 279CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

96. Quoted in George, , “Domestic Constraints,” p. 233Google Scholar.

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