19. Memorandum From John H. Holdridge and Mark Linton of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Message to the PRC Regarding Textile Export Restraints

In August, 1972, we provided the People’s Republic of China with an explanation of the Long-Term Textile Agreement (LTA) and informed PRC authorities via the Paris channel that the U.S. may find it necessary to request that they restrain exports of certain categories of cotton textiles to the U.S. (See this message at Tab B).2 PRC exports of textiles to the U.S. have not reached a level sufficient to warrant such a request. The Department of State has prepared a memorandum for transmission through the Paris channel to inform the PRC that we will in the near future request that exports of four categories of textiles be restrained.3

Article 4 of the LTA provides for the negotiation of bilateral agreements regulating trade in cotton textiles, and the U.S. currently has 31 such agreements. Articles 3 and 6(c) permit the U.S. to act unilaterally to restrain textile imports. PRC exports of cotton textiles to the U.S. in the 12 months ending January 31, 1973 grew to an equivalent of more than 16 million square yards. These exports are in several categories well over the levels at which we have initiated restraint agreements with other countries. Considerations of equity for traditional suppliers as well as the need to avoid disruption of our domestic markets make it necessary to take steps to regulate our textile imports from the PRC. Since PRC textile exports are continuing to grow rapidly, we should transmit the State memorandum to the PRC soon. All concerned agencies have cleared this memorandum. CIEP concurs.4

Recommendation: That you approve the transmittal to the PRC representatives in Paris of the memorandum at Tab A.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 526, Country Files, Far East, People’s Republic of China, Vol. 6, Jan–Apr 1973. Secret. Sent for action.
  2. Attached but not printed. The Long Term Agreement on Cotton Textiles, established in 1962, set guidelines for negotiated quotas between cotton importers and exporters.
  3. On February 8, Edward R. Cheney of the Fibers and Textiles Division in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs sent this memorandum to Hormats. It is attached at Tab A but not printed.
  4. Cheney noted that his draft was “cleared by the Departments of State, Commerce, Labor and the Treasury.”
  5. Kissinger initialed the Approve option.