190. Position Paper Prepared in the Council on International Economic Policy1

Administration Position on Title IV of TRA

Title IV of the TRA deals with authority to grant MFN treatment by the US to the USSR and other countries not now enjoying non-discriminatory trade treatment. An effort will be made on the floor of the House to amend Title IV with the result that the Administration would, under current circumstances, be prohibited from granting Ex-Im, CCC and other credits to the USSR.

In view of the present unsettled conditions in the Middle East, the Administration believes that it would be imprudent to take any substantive action with respect to Title IV. Negative action by the House would risk aggravation of the present diplomatic situation and affirmative action may not be warranted by the circumstances which emerge from the current Middle East crisis.

Therefore, quite apart from the issue of Soviet emigration policy, the Administration believes the national interest would best be served by the House of Representatives,2 striking Title IV from the Bill. Striking Title IV entirely from the TRA will leave both the Administration and the Congress full flexibility for further action depending on subsequent developments.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 219, Agency Files, Council on International Economic Policy (CIEP) 1973 (Vol II). Secret. Attached to an October 16 memorandum from Flanigan to Scowcroft that reads: “Herewith the position on Title IV of the Trade Bill which we discussed at the 8:30 meeting this morning. I believe it fully reflects Henry’s agreement. I intend to start using this on the House members this afternoon. If you have any trouble with it, please call me immediately. I presume you will forward a copy to Henry.”
  2. The phrase “with the overt support of the Administration” was crossed out.