117. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassies in Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Federal Republic of Germany1

267049. Subject: Economic Summit. For the Ambassador.

Please deliver the following letter from the President with appropriate salutation to Chancellor Schmidt, and Prime Ministers Miki, Moro and Wilson.
I am writing to share my thoughts with you as we prepare for the meeting at Rambouillet. Although we have been careful not to lead public opinion to expect dramatic results, I am convinced that we must see this unprecedented opportunity to begin to lay the foundations for a prolonged period of shared prosperity. On reflection, it seems to me that our publics and our parliaments will expect nothing less and that we can, in fact, achieve substantial progress.
Our first task at Rambouillet will be to build confidence in the economic recovery underway in the United States and Japan and which is beginning in Europe. Here, I believe, a careful presentation of the most recent trends will be convincing.
Next, we need to demonstrate to our publics our intention to direct the course of the recovery so as to maintain stable economic growth in the future. In this connection, we might consider whether closer cooperation among our officials responsible for economic policy, coupled with the articulation of joint goals for the major industrialized economies, would not be desirable. These goals might be: [Page 370]
  • —To generalize the recovery during 1976 among the major industrial countries.
  • —To seek to restore sustained vigorous economic expansion and high levels of employment by 1977.
  • —To reduce inflation and disparities among national inflation rates.
  • —To restore vigorous growth in trade.
Third, our meeting must come to grips with the specific problems of trade, money and energy.
Trade is clearly critical. We should, I believe, provide needed impetus to the multilateral trade negotiations underway in Geneva, setting 1977 as the deadline for their completion and identifying as our goals:
  • —A major cut in tariffs (no less than that achieved in the Kennedy Round);
  • —Reduction of non-tariff measures by negotiation of codes;
  • —Significant improvement in agricultural trade; and
  • —Elimination of tariffs in given commodity areas.
We should also reaffirm our OECD pledge not to take restrictive action.
On monetary issues, the divergent positions of a year ago have narrowed considerably. These past weeks our representative, Treasury Under Secretary Yeo,2 has seen making an intensive effort to resolve remaining differences. If these discussions should succeed, chances will be good of getting the whole new monetary structure in place by the January meeting of the IMF.3 In this area as in others, I do not think that we should ourselves attempt to negotiate outstanding issues at the summit. The time is too short; the issues are often technical; and it would be wrong to divert our efforts from what only we can do—set fundamental policy directions—to what Ministers can do.
On energy, a frank discussion of the position of our countries as we emerge from the recession and enter the economic dialogue with the developing countries and key OPEC members is clearly in order.4 Our view will be that the IEA countries must hold to their December 1 deadline in the Long-Term Program, including the minimum safeguard price. We also ought to allow for some way for France to associate [Page 371] into that program once it is completed. We will want to address the question of access to energy supply and investment within the IEA. And we should talk about what we can and cannot do in energy in the dialogue.
Finally, with the dialogue imminent and in the wake of the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations,5 it would be both appropriate and politic publicly to acknowledge the relationship of our deliberations to the aspirations of the developing world and to restate our commitment to a transformation of the relations between the industrialized and developing world.
As I now see it, in order for our meeting to have the desired results, we should prepare and issue a joint statement embodying our conclusions. We are all firmly in agreement that our meeting should not concern itself unduly with the preparation of a text. That task can be largely confided to the officials that will accompany us.
To provide you and your associates with a further indication—and some specifics—of what we believe we might say in such a joint statement, George Shultz, our representative at the November 11 meeting in London is proposing a text which embodies our thinking on the issues to be addressed and our suggestions on what should be said publicly about them.6
I am sending similar letters to each of the leaders who will join us at Rambouillet. I look forward to seeing you there.

Gerald R. Ford

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Flash; Exdis. Drafted by Enders; cleared by Sonnenfeldt, Parsky, Deputy Executive Secretary Frank Ortiz, the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant Paul Barbian, and Scowcroft; and approved by Kissinger. Telegram 267048 to Paris, November 11, forwarded a similar letter for transmission to French President Giscard. (Ibid.) Substantive differences between the two texts are noted below.
  2. In the letter to Giscard, this paragraph includes the phrase at this point: “and representatives of your government.”
  3. The IMF Interim Committee met in Jamaica January 7–8, 1976.
  4. In the letter to Giscard, the rest of the paragraph reads: “My presentation on energy will include discussion of the energy situation in the United States, the status of consumer country cooperation, and our views on what can and cannot be done in energy in the dialogue.”
  5. The Seventh Special Session of the UN General Assembly convened September 1–16 to consider development and international economic cooperation.
  6. In telegram 266579 to London, November 11, Shultz and Dobbins received new instructions on the joint communiqué for the London preparatory meeting: “Meeting this morning decided that we should go beyond defensive brief you now have for handling joint statement, and take affirmative position in seeking a text as close as possible to ours. Feeling here is that some document issued at the end of the summit is inevitable; our interest is to make sure it reflects U.S. leadership efforts, notably in the economic recovery and trade field.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)