The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the administrations of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. This volume documents U.S. foreign economic policy from 1973 to 1976, focusing on international monetary policy, economic [Page IV] summitry, trade policy, commodity policy, and North-South relations. Readers interested in U.S. energy policy and the implications of the 1973 and 1979 oil crises should consult Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXVI, Energy Crisis, 1969–1974 and volume XXXVII, Energy Crisis, 1974–1980. Readers interested in stockpile policy should consult Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXV, National Security Policy, 1973–1976. For U.S. economic relations with a particular country or region, readers should consult the relevant geographically focused volume of Foreign Relations; for example, the U.S.-European Community relationship, burdensharing, and East-West trade policy are all documented in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–15, part 1, Eastern Europe, and part 2, Western Europe. Finally, for the organization of the foreign economic policy making process, readers should consult Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXVIII, Foundations and Organization of Foreign Policy, 1973–1976.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXI

This volume has a tightly defined understanding of foreign economic policy, one that focuses on three significant areas: international monetary relations, international trade, and efforts to redress global economic inequalities. The section on international monetary policy and economic summitry focuses on the aftermath of the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime envisioned at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. It includes documents on the monetary crisis of February and March 1973; efforts to reform the international monetary system, with particular emphasis on the issues of exchange rate flexibility and the future of gold; and the creation of the G–7 summit. The section on trade policy, more than any other section in this volume, demonstrates the influence of domestic politics on foreign economic policy; this is particularly clear in the documents on the 1973 decision to impose export controls and the White House’s efforts to secure passage of a major piece of trade reform legislation, the Trade Act of 1974. This section also includes documents on the beginnings of a new round of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, with particular emphasis on the role of agriculture in those negotiations, as well as foreign fears of U.S. protectionism. The final section, on commodity policy and North-South issues, documents the approach of the Nixon and Ford administrations to the persistent economic disparities between the industrialized nations of the North and the less developed countries of the South; it also explores U.S. attempts to grapple with the global trade in primary commodities in a post-1973 oil embargo world.

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Like all recent Foreign Relations volumes in the Nixon-Ford sub-series, the emphasis of this volume is on policy formulation, rather than the implementation of policy or day-to-day diplomacy. As in other volumes in this subseries, the National Security Council and the Department of State were major players in the policy making process; in this volume, however, they are joined by the Department of the Treasury (which played a key role in the formulation of international monetary and North-South policies) and the Federal Reserve Board (which exercised an important influence on the international monetary policy making process).

Editorial Methodology

The volume is divided into three compilations: international monetary policy, trade policy, and commodity policy and North-South relations. Within each compilation, documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The documents are reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents within the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the documents are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words repeated in telegrams to avoid garbling or provide emphasis are silently corrected. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the original text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount and, where possible, the nature of the material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that [Page VI] appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes. All ellipses are in the original documents.

The first footnote to each document indicates the source of the document, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review

Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974 (44 USC 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA formally to notify the Nixon Estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon [Page VII] White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARA’s Nixon Presidential Materials Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.

Nixon White House Tapes

Access to the Nixon White House tape recordings is governed by the terms of the PRMPA and an access agreement with the Office of Presidential Libraries of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Nixon Estate. In February 1971, President Nixon initiated a voice activated taping system in the Oval Office of the White House and, subsequently, in the President’s Office in the Executive Office Building, Camp David, the Cabinet Room, and White House and Camp David telephones. The audiotapes include conversations of President Nixon with his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, other White House aides, Secretary of State Rogers, other Cabinet officers, members of Congress, and key foreign officials. The clarity of the voices on the tape recordings is often very poor, but the editor has made every effort to verify the accuracy of the transcripts produced here. Readers are advised that the tape recording is the official document; the transcript represents an interpretation of that document. Through the use of digital audio and other advances in technology, the Office of the Historian has been able to enhance the tape recordings and over time produce more accurate transcripts. The result is that some transcripts printed here may differ from transcripts of the same conversations printed in previous Foreign Relations volumes. The most accurate transcripts possible, however, cannot substitute for listening to the recordings. Readers are urged to consult the recordings themselves for full appreciation of those aspects of the conversations that cannot be captured in a transcript, such as the speakers’ inflections and emphases that may convey nuances of meaning, as well as the larger context of the discussion.

Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information and applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security [Page VIII] as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2005 and was completed in 2009, resulted in the decision to make a minor excision of less than a paragraph in 1 document.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the record presented in this volume presented here provides an accurate and comprehensive account of U.S. foreign economic policy from 1973 to 1976.


The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland. The editor also wishes to acknowledge the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace for facilitating that access. Thanks are due to the Historical Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency, who were helpful in arranging full access to the files of the Central Intelligence Agency. John Haynes of the Library of Congress was responsible for expediting access to the Kissinger Papers. The editor was able to use the Kissinger Papers, including the transcripts of telephone conversations, with the kind permission of Henry Kissinger. Finally, the editor wishes to thank the staff of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, particularly Geir Gundersen, Karen Holzhausen, Donna Lehman, and Helmi Raaska, for their valuable and tireless assistance.

Kathleen B. Rasmussen collected the documents, made the initial selections, and annotated the documents she chose. The volume was completed under the supervision of Luke Smith, Chief of the Europe and General Division, and Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the series. Craig Daigle, Richard Moss, and Anand Toprani prepared the transcripts of the Nixon Presidential tape recordings. Dean Weatherhead coordinated the declassification review under the supervision of the Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division, Susan C. Weetman. Kristin Ahlberg, Keri Lewis, and Aaron W. Marrs did the copy and technical editing. Breffni Whelan prepared the index.

Ambassador Edward Brynn
Acting Historian

Bureau of Public Affairs

December 2009