175. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the President’s Assistant for International Economic Affairs (Flanigan) to President Nixon, Washington, July 2, 1973.1 2


July 2, 1973

PETER M. FLANIGAN [PM initialed]

SUBJECT: Ministerial Meeting with Japanese (ECONCOM IX)

Secretary Rogers' memorandum (Tab A) informs you that the joint U.S.-Japan Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs (ECONCOM IX) will be held in Tokyo on Jul), 16. Taking place two weeks prior to your meeting in Washington with Prime Minister Tanaka, ECONCOM will provide an opportunity to discuss a wide variety of economic issues, to take note of the progress made by Japan in reducing its trade imbalance with us an in liberalizing most of its trade barriers, and to emphasize the importance of U.S.-Japanese cooperation in future multilateral endeavors such as monetary reform and trade negotiations.

On the proposed agenda specific items to be discussed will be the economic outlook in the U S. and Japan, bilateral trade and investment problems, multilateral trade negotiations and reform of the monetary system, energy problems, relations with the EC, aid and trade relations with developing countries (especially Vietnam), and environmental programs.

Under the agreement with Japan establishing ECONCOM, our delegation includes the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor. In the past, the delegation has also included the Secretary of Transportation, the Chairman of CEA, the Special Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the CEQ. Secretary Rogers suggests that these same agencies be represented at this meeting, but indicates that in the past you have limited the number of Cabinet members traveling abroad and determined that some agencies should be represented by Under Secretaries. He asks your wishes regarding the composition of this delegation.

Our View. These meetings provide a useful, although somewhat unwieldy, forum for discussing economic matters with the Japanese. The last ECONCOM, two years ago, allowed us to put substantial pressure on the Japanese for liberalization and for reducing their trade imbalance with us. The Kuilima Summit with Tanaka last summer, and Ambassador Eberle's dealings with the Japanese, gave further impetus to their efforts to liberalize and to reduce their surplus. Much progress has been made but we are not yet in a position to relax. Japan has had a trade deficit for the last three months, but this has resulted in part from very high prices for their grain [Page 2]and food imports from the U.S. Moreover, nearly all Japanese industrial quotas have been or are in the process of being eliminated over the next two years. Remaining agricultural quotas are of the highest domestic sensitivity in Japan.

We should continue to make the Japanese aware of our interest in further liberalization in both trade and investment, but our primary emphasis at this ECONCOM should be all other areas of cooperation — monetary, trade, energy, and Vietnam reconstruction.

With respect to the composition of the delegation, we have no strong feelings. It is really only essential that the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Agriculture and Commerce as well as perhaps Ambassador Eberle and Chairman Stein attend. It would certainly be appropriate for other agencies to be represented at a lower level.


If you agree, Secretary Rogers will be informed that:

  • — You approve the proposed agenda for the ECONCOM meetings and the general tenor of his approach.
  • — You would suggest that details of bilateral trade and investment issues be handled primarily in the counterpart meetings.
  • — You believe it is especially important that he, Secretary Shultz, Secretary Butz, and Secretary Dent, as well as Chairman Stein and Ambassador Eberle if they feel it necessary, attend; but that it might be appropriate for other agencies including CIEP to be represented at the deputy level.

Approve [RN initialed]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 539, Country Files, Far East, Japan, July 1973–December 31, 1974 (sic), vol. 10. Confidential. Sent for action. Nixon initialed his approval of the recommendation. Rogers’s memorandum, June 22, is attached Tab A, but is not published.
  2. Kissinger and Flanigan forwarded Secretary Rogers’s memorandum about the upcoming ministerial meeting with Japan. Nixon approved the proposed agenda.