233. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for Congressional Relations (Timmons) and the President’s Special Counsel (Dent) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Textile Meeting
  • Monday, June 8, 1970
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Cabinet Room2

Political Background

A.
In August 1968, the President met with key textile leaders at Mission Bay and agreed, in a subsequently published telegram,3 to better enforce the long-term cotton textile agreement brought about under President Kennedy’s Administration and to extend the same concept of voluntary agreements with foreign countries to man-made and woolen textile product imports. We have enforced the cotton agreement very well and just negotiated a three-year extension of the cotton agreement.
B.
Textile industry leaders raised a considerable sum which was used to run a special operation in key Southern states, all of which were carried except Georgia.
C.
This Administration has held approximately 150 conferences with foreign officials seeking a solution. In the meantime, Congressman Mills has introduced a textile-apparel-footwear trade bill to limit imports of textiles and shoes. The bill has 250 House sponsors. Sixteen of the 21 Chairmen of the House Standing Committees are sponsors, as are 14 of the 24 members of the Ways and Means Committee. Hearings are now being held, and Secretary Stans is scheduled to return by the middle of June to complete the testimony for the Administration. The industry is committed to stick with the legislation.4
D.
The legislation places emphasis on encouraging negotiated agreements by imposing specific import limitations only on those nations which do not enter into negotiated agreements with the U.S. [Page 603]Present agreements and any negotiated before and after the bill is passed will be honored. So, the negotiating job we do will determine, in effect, what kind of limitations the textile people have.
E.
All of the people present for the meeting are supporters of this Administration. Speaking principally for the industry will be Roger Milliken, the foremost Republican among them.
F.
The textile question is important in the Northeastern states, the wool-growing states of the West, and particularly in the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). From a political standpoint, the lack of concrete results is being used by the Democrats against the Administration and GOP candidates.5
  • William E. Timmons
  • Harry S. Dent6
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 335, Items to Discuss with the President 5/1/70-6/15/70. No classification marking.
  2. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room from 11:12 a.m. to 12:38 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) No record of this meeting has been found.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. See Document 230.
  5. In a June 8 memorandum for the President’s use in the meeting, Kissinger noted that Stans would again testify on June 18, and Timmons and Dent believed he should say that if no agreement were reached by that date, he should “testify then that the Administration would not oppose quota legislation and it would not be vetoed under certain circumstances.” Kissinger suggested that the President, if pressed, follow this guidance: “if we are not able to reach a suitable agreement in the very near future, the Administration would not oppose such legislation. By June 18 we should either have an agreement or know definitively if one is about to be concluded. If neither is the case, Secretary Stans would testify that the Administration no longer opposes quota legislation providing it is strictly limited to textiles.” “The President has seen” is stamped on this memorandum. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 399, Textiles, Volume II)
  6. Printed from a copy that bears these typed signatures.