410. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (McCracken) to President Nixon 1
- Meat Imports
I understand that Secretary Hardin has completed his Congressional consultations and has found that resistance to a small increase in imports during the current quarter is not insuperable.2 The quantity involved is so small as to be largely symbolic, though it is of some importance to Australia even so. It will also be welcome to the Central Americans, who claim that we have encouraged them to specialize in beef production and therefore should be more receptive to their exports.
My main purpose in writing this memo is to remind you of the domestic aspects of the beef situation. There is great concern not only about meat prices in general, but especially about hamburgers and frankfurters. These are the products most dependent on an adequate supply of imported beef. Last week there were hearings before a House subcommittee in which considerable consumer sentiment on this issue became apparent. If the Administration now decides on a gesture towards increased imports this will certainly be a plus as far as the domestic consumer is concerned.