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354. Memorandum From Secretary of the Treasury Kennedy to the President’s Assistant (Ellsworth)1

SUBJECT

  • Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (STR)

I regret Treasury’s views have not been included heretofore on the matter of where STR should be located. Not only the broad policy issues are matters of great concern to us but the administration of much of it is our statutory responsibility.

Treasury strongly holds the opinion that the continuation of the responsibility of the Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations as a separate agency within the Executive Office of the President is of great importance to the furtherance of our liberal trade objectives.

  • —A liberal trade policy is fundamental to our broad financial objective of moving away from selective controls.
  • —Locating STR in any one agency would leave trade policy too exposed to the pressures concentrated in a department, be it State or Commerce.2
  • —The views of this Department and the views of other agencies are given more weight and balanced handling in the process of interdepartmental discussion on trade policy when the over-all responsibility is located in the Executive Office of the President.
David M. Kennedy 3
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 56, OSD Files, FRC 56 74 7, Secretary’s Memos/Correspondence, 1966–1970: White House, Jan–Aug 1969. Limited Office Use. Drafted by Petty. A copy was sent to Mayo.
  2. In a March 19 memorandum to the President, Paul McCracken, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, expressed his support for keeping STR in the Executive Office of the President. He argued, among other things, that Commerce had “often been unduly sensitive to industry pressures, especially from textiles,” while State was “widely considered to be insufficiently responsive to our business interests.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 403, Office of the Special Trade Representative)
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Kennedy signed the original.