91. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Trade Problems


  • United States
  • The President
  • The Secretary
  • Ambassador Mosbacher
  • Ambassador Linder
  • Mr. Kissinger
  • Mr. Hillenbrand
  • Mr. Scott
  • Mr. Sonnenfeldt
  • Mr. Carson
  • Canada
  • The Prime Minister
  • Minister Sharp
  • Ambassador Ritchie
  • Mr. Robertson
  • Mr. Cadieux
  • Mr. Warren
  • Mr. Howland
  • Mr. Lalonde
  • Mr. Langley
  • Mr. Crowe
  • Mr. LeBlanc
  • Mr. Head
  • Mr. Vennat

The Prime Minister inquired about a meeting of the Joint Cabinet Committee on Trade and Economic Policy. It was quickly concluded that the Committee should meet as soon as possible, hopefully before summer.2

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Noting the protectionist movement in the United States, the President said it would be the policy of his administration to promote freer trade and to resist protectionist pressures.

Minister Sharp inquired whether that would be enough. If one had no positive policy on freer trade, the protectionists would force a slide in their direction. The President agreed, saying a forward policy might be required simply in order not to lose ground.

The Prime Minister suggested that the group of advisors would be interested in the comments the President had made about trade between industrialized countries. The President explained that he had found it useful—in refuting the argument that the U.S. was trying to keep people in subjection in the underdeveloped world as a means of extracting trading advantages—to call attention to the fact that the industrialized nations were the world’s major trading partners. It was to the advantage of all, therefore, for the underdeveloped countries to become industrialized.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 670, Country Files—Europe, Canada, Vol. I. Confidential. Drafted by J.L. Carson (EUR/CAN). The meeting took place in the White House. A note on the first page reads, “Part five of five.” See also Document 90. Memoranda of conversation between senior administration and Canadian officials on trade issues, March 25, are ibid.
  2. The Committee met in Washington June 25–26. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume IV, Foreign Assistance, International Development, Trade Policies, 1969–1972, Document 392. The participants also discussed Canadian forces in NATO; see Document 95.