Byrd Amendment (1971)

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Harry F. Byrd, Jr., United States Senator from Virginia, proposed the amendment, which came to bear his name.

The Byrd Amendment—named for its author, Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. of Virginia—was a 1971 amendment to the U.S. Federal Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act. It created an exception in the United States embargo of Rhodesia regarding chrome ore, the main alternative source for which was the Soviet Union. Rhodesia, run by a mostly white minority government, was unrecognised internationally and under a United Nations trade boycott following its 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain. The Byrd Amendment, despite breaching UN sanctions, was passed by the United States Congress because of Cold War considerations. It was declared a violation of international law by Diggs v. Schultz in 1972, but was not repealed until 1977, when newly elected President Jimmy Carter successfully pushed Congress to do so.[1]


  1. ^ Borstelmann 2003, pp. 236–237