THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II

EXPORT CONTROL ACT

THE MORAL EMBARGO

In July 1940, the United States had not jet joined the war; however it was heavily  involved in world affairs.  On July 5, 1940, Congress passed the Export Control Act which forbid the export of aircraft parts, chemicals, and minerals without a license.  This was in reaction to Japan’s occupation of parts of the Indo-Chinese coast.  With Germany occupying much of France, there was fear of the Axis control of French colonies such as French Indo-China.  Three weeks after the Act was passed, aviation fuel and scrap metal and iron were added to the list of band exports. The United States was not alone in its concern. Great Britain, which had it own colonies in the Far East (Burma, Hong Kong, and Malaya) also feared an aggressive Japan. The day after the Export Act was passed, the British ambassador would be asked by Japan to close the Burma Road, a key supply route of arms for China, Japan’s prey. Britain initially balked at the request but, fearing a declaration of war by a third enemy, caved in and closed the road, though only for a limited period.  The British and the Dutch followed suit in embargoing trade to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia.  The ending of the commercial trade treaties further eroded the possibilities for dialogue between the United States and Japan.

When Japan invaded French-controlled Indochina in 1940 the United States  furthered its “Moral Embargo” by  expanding the restrictions to scrap metal. Along with these restrictions the United States also closed the Panama Canal to the Japanese effectively cutting off an efficient trade route from the

When Japan invaded French-controlled Indochina in 1940 the United States
furthered its “Moral Embargo” by
expanding the restrictions to scrap metal. Along with these restrictions the United States also closed the Panama Canal to the Japanese effectively cutting off an efficient trade route from the

 

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3 responses

  1. GP Cox says:

    But people forget that Japan did NOT invade IndoChina, they had permission to enter from the French government – not one shot was fired.

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  2. Birgit says:

    This was very interesting since I did not know as much about this part of the war

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