Saggi di Dodis

Saggi di Dodis 1 (2019/3)

Christian Schaniel

«Explosive» Exporte in die USA. Schweizer Zahnräder und Getriebe als Zünderbestandteile im Vietnamkrieg 1965–1973

During the various phases of the Vietnam War, a considerable number of special pinions and gears – products of the Swiss clock and watch industry – were employed in Vietnam as components in detonators of US bombs. The Swiss Federal Council was fully aware of how sensitive supplying these parts was, but for reasons of trade and industrial policy tried to keep secret the scale of the exports, as well as the fact that the dual-use parts were chiefly employed for military purposes. The federal administration didn’t approve these exports with a view to producers’ interests, however. The primary concern was that if the Swiss authorities didn’t cooperate, the US might re-enact import tariffs on clocks and watches, which were first introduced during the clock and watch conflict between Switzerland and the US and abolished by the Rollback agreement of January 1967.

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