250. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Secretary Hardin’s Report on His European Trip
Secretary Hardin has sent you an abbreviated report on the United Kingdom and European Community portions of his European trip (Tab A).
In speaking with the British and Community leaders, the Secretary emphasized that the import barriers of the Community’s Common Agricultural Policy are contributing significantly to protectionism in the United States Congress. Recent Community agricultural policy moves have all been in the wrong direction, instead of encouraging an interdependence of trade that would sustain an open U.S. policy. We have been chagrined by recent EC moves on grain, citrus, and tobacco.
Grains are the most serious. A Community increase in its already high grain import levies, which is a real possibility, would further damage our exports; we would pay the price of an unsuccessful EC social program to increase Community farm income levels. Germany, which is the most insistent on high grain prices, claims that grain price reductions are politically impossible.
The Secretary believes that we must use all U.S. Government resources to reverse Germany on this question, even at the risk of interfering with the UK-EC negotiations or of creating difficulties for Brandt. Otherwise, the Administration will have serious political problems in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri.
The Secretary did not believe his trip had the result he wished for a number of reasons:
- —Authority in the Community is diffuse.
- —The Community is hypersensitive to criticism of its institutions.
- —The British dare not use their weight with the Community.
- —The Community argues that it cannot attempt fundamental changes during its British negotiations.
I agree that these are extremely serious issues. They will require us, at some point, to make a tough tradeoff between our direct interests in the EC and UK, on the one hand, and our domestic political interests and interest in maintaining some base for a generally free trade policy, on the other. This should undoubtedly be one of the first issues to be tackled by the new International Economic Policy Committee.2
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 196, Agriculture, Volume II 1971-. No classification marking. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads: “The President has seen.” The memorandum was forwarded to Kissinger under cover of a December 18, 1970, memorandum from Bergsten, which indicated a memorandum similar to Hardin’s (at Tab A below) had been provided to the President in preparation for his meeting with Prime Minister Heath on December 17. (Ibid., Volume I 1969-1970)↩
- The President circled “International Economic Policy Committee” and wrote the following note: “1) I agree. 2) But the emphasis must be on U.S. interests. We cannot continue to sell out U.S. interests for State’s ‘foreign policy consideration.’”↩
- No classification marking.↩