76. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President’s Special Assistant (Flanigan)1


  • US Economic Policy Toward South Africa

US economic policy toward South Africa, the subject of your memorandum to me of June 14, 1973,2 has most recently been addressed in an interagency policy planning paper on that country of March, 1972.3

As stated in the paper, our principal objective is “continued profitable trade with South Africa and maintenance of US investments and access to key resources.” Under this objective, our courses of action include neither encouraging nor discouraging any US investment in [Page 185] South Africa, while making sure US companies are fully aware of the political, social and economic problems associated with South Africa’s racial policies and of the public relations problem resulting from investment in South Africa. The paper calls for providing low-profile facilitative services to US exporters and, while continuing present Ex-Im Bank policy with respect to South Africa, remaining alert to possible needs for liberalizing the policy to enable US exporters to meet terms offered by third-country competitors.

These elements of our policy toward South Africa, which reflect the complex strategic, international and domestic considerations involved in US-South African relations are considered currently valid. I have attached for your information a copy of the March, 1972 guidelines pertaining to economic relations with South Africa.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 744, Country Files, Africa, South Africa, Vol. II. Secret; Noforn.
  2. In a June 14 memorandum to Kissinger, Flanigan wrote that Ambassdor Botha was concerned about U.S. economic policy toward South Africa. Flanigan noted the policies enunciated by Newsom before the Diggs Committee on March 27, and added that the policy appeared to have been formulated in 1964. He asked: “Has a recent study of our economic policies concerning South Africa been made, and if so, may I see the conclusions reached?” (Ibid.)
  3. Document 71.
  4. Not attached.