100. Editorial Note

On August 15, 1971, Nixon announced a new economic policy, issued a proclamation that placed a 10 percent surcharge on imports, and declared a “national emergency.” (Document 89; Public Papers: Nixon, 1971, pages 886–891; Federal Register, “Imposition of Supplemental Duty for Balance of Payments Purposes,” Proclamation 4074, vol. 36, no. 159, page 15724) Nixon’s language was important because it seemed to lay the basis for invoking the “Trading with the Enemy Act,” which gave the President power over international trade during any “period of national emergency declared by the President.” (I.M. Destler, Haruhiro Fukui, and Hideo Sato, The Textile Wrangle: Conflict in Japanese-American Relations, 1969–1971, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979, pages 271, 292–293) In order to indicate firmness, Nixon indicated indirectly that he would refuse to meet with former Prime Minister Kishi until a textile agreement had been concluded. (Telephone conversation between Haig and Wakaizumi, October 8, 9 p.m.; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Haig Chron File, Box 998, Haig Telcons, 1971, 1 of 2)

According to the President’s Daily Diary, on Friday, October 8, from 11:35 a.m. until noon, Nixon conferred with Ambassador at Large David Kennedy, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, and Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Peter Peterson. The topic was textile negotiations in the Far East. (Ibid., White House Central Files) During this meeting, David Kennedy, who had assumed responsibility for negotiating a textile agreement, reported that Japanese Minister Tanaka, speaking to Anthony Jurich, Kennedy’s personal aide, “says they are going to have agreement.” Kennedy indicated that according to Jurich, “There are about six sticky items, yet. Four of them he thinks they can clear away. Two of them, we couldn’t give on and keep our textile people with us.” Nixon and Kennedy agreed that Kennedy would fly to Guam and stay there while Jurich negotiated with Japanese officials. (Ibid., White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation 587–7)

At the same meeting, Nixon criticized “the goddamn State Department,” which, he declared, is “always so concerned about the other [Page 340] side.” Nixon remarked, “State’ll raise—They’ll say, ʽKennedy is not a good negotiator,ʼ and I say, ʽWhy?ʼ ʽBecause he’s too tough.ʼ I say, ʽWhat the hell!’ I say, ʽThat’s the way to get a negotiation. You make a shrewd deal, and the rest, because you were tough. You got this far because you were tough.’” In regard to Japan, Nixon stated, “I don’t want this ever breathed, but the Trading with the Enemy Act would be very bad.” Nixon added, however, “You’ve got to hold it out.” Nixon said of his November 1969 summit with Japanese Prime Minister Sato (whose name he apparently confuses here with that of Sato’s brother, former Prime Minister Kishi): “I had Kishi in here two years ago. He talked to them. We gave him Okinawa, and by God we shouldn’t have given a goddamn thing ʽtil we got the bastards on the line. All we got was a promise. Never again.” (Ibid.)

Peterson wrote a summary account of the October 8 meeting for the President’s file that indicated the results of the meeting: “1) That maximum exposure should be given to the meeting so as to make clear to the world the President’s commitment to solving this problem. Accordingly, it was agreed to give the session photographic coverage. 2) That everyone should indicate a position of firmness and Dr. Kissinger agreed to continue to emphasize to the State Department the need for firmness. 3) That David Kennedy should not go to Japan from Guam until a deal was confirmed.” (Ibid., White House Special Files, President’s Office Files, Box 84, Memoranda for the President, beginning October 3, 1971)