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Agreement between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States on the Economic Fusion of their Respective Zones (December 2, 1946)

In the fall of 1946, following protracted negotiations, the United States and Great Britain agreed on the economic unification of their occupation zones. Joint authorities and agencies on the Allied and German sides were to revive economic life in the “Bizone.” The conditions for the potential inclusion of the Soviet zone were formulated in such a way that failure was guaranteed, and no agreement was reached with France, either. The agreement, which took effect on January 1, 1947, paved the way for the final division of Germany.

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Representatives of the two Governments have met at Washington to discuss the questions arising out of the economic fusion of their zones of occupation in Germany. They have taken as the basis of their discussion the fact that the aim of the two Governments is to achieve the economic unity of Germany as a whole, in accordance with the Agreement reached at Potsdam on 2nd August, 1945. The arrangements set out hereunder, for the United States and United Kingdom Zones, should be regarded as the first step towards the achievement of the economic unity of Germany as a whole in accordance with that Agreement. The two Governments are ready at any time to enter into discussions with either of the two occupying Powers with a view to the extension of these arrangements to their zones of occupation.

On this basis, agreement has been reached on the following paragraphs:—

1. Date of Inception
This Agreement for the economic fusion of the two Zones shall take effect on 1st January, 1947.

2. Pooling of Resources
The two Zones shall be treated as a single area for all economic purposes. The indigenous resources of the area and all imports into the area, including food, shall be pooled in order to produce a common standard of living.

3. German Administrative Agencies
The United States and United Kingdom Commanders-in-Chief are responsible for setting up under their joint control the German administrative agencies necessary to the economic unification of the two Zones.

4. Agency for Foreign Trade
Responsibility for foreign trade will rest initially with the Joint Export-Import Agency (United States–United Kingdom) or such other agency as may be established by the two Commanders-in-Chief. This responsibility shall be transferred to the German Administrative Agency for Foreign Trade under joint supervision to the maximum extent permitted by the restrictions existing in foreign countries at any given period. (All references in this Agreement to the Joint Export-Import Agency shall apply to this Agency or to any agency established by the two Commanders-in-Chief to succeed it.)

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