214. Telegram From the Mission to the European Community to the Department of State1

4012. For Julius Katz, E; for Eberle (STR) from Schaetzel. Subj:EC trade aspects of monetary settlement.

In response to your telephone message,2 I have talked with Barre, Dahrendorf and Ruggiero. We have also been in touch with Hijzen. The EC Commission is still sorting out its understanding of what happened. But they are aware that Ferrari-Aggradi said, in effect, that the Community could negotiate with us on a trade component if a mutually satisfactory monetary deal is near at hand. The Commission understands that the EC side would have the right to raise trade problems that the Community has with the US.
Under these circumstances, a Commission delegation which will probably consist of Dahrendorf, Mansholt, Hijzen, and Ruggiero, is ready to meet with a Washington delegation led by Eberle on Wednesday, December 8.
The Commission wishes to be clear about the basis on which this meeting will take place. They emphasize this in order (A) to take into account the political and constitutional imperatives inherent in the Community’s internal procedures and (B) to avoid misunderstandings that could detract from the improved atmosphere developed at Rome.
In essence the Commission cannot “negotiate” with us until it receives a mandate from the EC Council of Ministers. The Commission would have to make a proposal, have it vetted at the official level with the member states (Perm Reps and Article 113 Committee), and have it formally approved by the Council. A Council of Ministers meeting was already scheduled for next Saturday, December 11. Provided that the member governments give the necessary political directives, the normal Community procedure can be speeded up and telescoped at least in part. We are of course urging the Commission to move quickly.
In light of the considerations outlined above, the Commission advises us that they have no choice but to view the December 8 bilateral US-EC meeting as an exploration with us of the agenda of trade items advanced by the American side in Rome.
Please advise us urgently as to (A) whether we should confirm the December 8 meeting with the Commission and (B) the composition and travel plans of the US team.3
I personally believe it important, at this juncture, that the team come from Washington and lay out the US position. For one thing, the Commission needs to have as clear an understanding as possible during the next critical week or so when it must take the initiative in putting together a Community position.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 73 D 153, Box 124, Morning Summaries. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Paris for Deputy Under Secretary Samuels. Similar messages were received from the Embassies in Bonn (telegram 15042, December 3) and Rome (telegram 7658, December 4). (Both ibid., Central Files 1970-73, FN 10)
  2. Not further identified.
  3. No record of the details of arrangements for trade talks have been found, but Hormats, in a December 9 memorandum entitled “Economic Policy at the Summit,” informed Kissinger that Eberle would begin trade negotiations with the Community during the coming week. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 356, Monetary Matters) In telegram 23063, December 23, the Department of State informed various European posts that Eberle had undertaken a series of negotiations with the Commission, based on understandings reached in Rome and Washington. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, E 1 US) See Document 221.