185. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers 1

As pointed out in the report from Arthur Burns’ group (See item XVIII-4),2 major trade and tariff problems will have to be dealt with this year.

I would like to have from you by March 12, 1969, a memorandum expressing your reactions to this section of the report, as well as your recommendations for legislative or administrative action in this area.

I am sending a similar memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce.

When you send me your report, please submit a copy to Arthur Burns.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 401, Trade General Volume I. No classification marking.
  2. Under cover of a January 18 letter to President-elect Nixon, Arthur Burns, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Program Coordination Group, forwarded the Group’s report entitled “Recommendations for Early Action or Consideration.” The 117-page report dealt primarily with domestic issues, but Section XVIII, the final section, is entitled “International Economic Relations.” In his letter, Burns said the report was an enlarged version of “the tentative report” that he had submitted to the President-elect on January 6. The letter is on stationery of the Office of the President-elect with a New York address. (Ford Library, Arthur Burns Papers, Box A18, Report to President Elect Nixon) Section XVIII-4 (pages 112-115) of the Burns Group report, entitled “Tariffs and Other Trade Barriers,” begins with the following paragraph: “To counter the political response to the new or impending limitation of steel and textile imports, it is important that you concurrently stress your commitment to a liberal trade policy. Without that, it will be extremely difficult to get other nations to enter into meaningful negotiations for the removal of existing obstacles to our exports.” The report then lists six policy initiatives to implement this objective, noting that the policy suggestions, “despite their reasonable ring, raise difficult political questions.” For the State Department position, see Document 188.