156. Memorandum From Robert Hormats of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

SUBJECT

  • Conclusion for Textile Negotiations for Thailand

After a history of frustrating negotiations and discussions marked by misunderstanding on the part of both sides, we have concluded a highly successful agreement with Thailand which will result in their voluntarily restraining the amount of cotton textiles they export to the U.S. The Thai are extremely satisfied with this agreement as is the U.S. domestic textile industry. This may be one of the few times in history that such an unlikely and mutually satisfactory outcome has been arrived at! For this reason alone, I believe it appropriate to send the letter at Tab A to Pete Peterson 2 complimenting his department and his negotiator Stanley Nehmer.

There is also another reason for doing so. Commerce will play a key role in enforcing the textile agreements worked out by David Kennedy with Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea. Our ability to delicately and discreetly importune them to be flexible in these negotiations could be extremely important in foreign policy terms. The letter, by complimenting Nehmer on his outstanding job in reconciling foreign policy and domestic interests will be helpful in any future efforts we may make in importuning him to apply a similar measure of flexibility in the future.

Recommendation

That you sign the letter to Peter Peterson at Tab A.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 564, Country Files, Far East, Thailand, Vol. VIII. No classification marking. Sent for action. A notation on the memorandum in Haig’s handwriting reads: “HAK—this was a result of earlier HAK–Haig–Kennedy push. AH.”
  2. A copy of the letter, signed by Kissinger and dated March 28, is attached but not printed. In it Kissinger compliments Nehmer and states: “I understand that the Thai are extremely pleased with the agreement, and that it was also completely acceptable to our domestic textile industry.”