229. Editorial Note

At the NSC meeting on April 9, 1969, the President had decided to establish a Commission to “review the entire range of trade and production relationships among countries” (see Tab A to Document 195). In his November 18, 1969, trade message to Congress the President publicly announced that intent (see footnote 2, Document 213).

On March 4, 1970, Henry Kissinger sent the President a memorandum informing him that the Commerce Department, the Office of the Special Trade Representative, and other agencies, including the State Department, favored Honeywell Board Chairman James Binger as Chairman of the Commission. Kissinger added that they recommended former IBM President Albert Williams if Binger could not accept. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 401, Trade General Volume I) On March 9 the President initialed his approval of Binger as Chairman and Williams as a back-up candidate.

Williams and Bergsten met with the President from 11:48 a.m. to 12:07 p.m. on April 6. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) In an April 8 memorandum, Fred Bergsten provided Kissinger with a memorandum of the President’s April 6 conversation with Albert Williams, whose appointment as Chairman of the Trade Commission had been announced on April 7. Bergsten included a roster of possible members of the Commission. (Ibid.) For the April 7 announcement of Williams’ appointment as Chairman of the President’s Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy see Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1970, page 500, and Department of State Bulletin, June 1, 1970, page 699. Regarding the membership of the Commission see ibid., June 15, 1970, pages 752-753.