150. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President’s Special Counsel (Mollenhoff)1


  • Your Memorandum of March 28 on Protection of American Property in Foreign Countries2

The document in your possession is, I believe, part of a larger study being prepared by a working group in the State Department at the Secretary’s request.3 The project is in the early stages of drafting, and the end product will likely consist of more than one paper.

The subject is the general one of “economic nationalism” in developing countries and its implications for U.S. investment. The papers will consider specific cases of expropriations or disputes which have arisen in a series of countries, including most of the ones you list in your memorandum. The difficulties vary from case to case, but all cases, as you can imagine, involve delicate matters of negotiation.

[Page 388]

The principal purpose of this study is to develop specific recommendations for improving our handling of these cases. It will deal with such topics as ways of promoting new U.S. investment in a manner consistent with the preferences and priorities of the host countries, ways of protecting existing U.S. investments, means and strategies for settling disputes with host countries, ways of improving cooperation between the U.S. Government and U.S. investors, and so forth. Any recommendations for new policies or possibly new legislation will most likely be matters for Presidential decision.

In short, I can assure you that the entire exercise is intended to address the concerns which you express.

The study will be, of course, a classified document. If you receive any further inquiries, I recommend that you state simply that the entire subject is being studied carefully, that these concerns are being addressed, and the matter will likely receive Presidential attention.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 281, State, Volume VI. Confidential. Drafted on April 2 by Peter Rodman.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid.)
  3. Not found.