100. Memorandum From John Renner of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • The Dollar and Oil Imports

At the present time, the Administration is trying to deal with the weakness of the dollar and our oil imports as if they were completely separate issues. The Treasury Department has used traditional monetary measures in an effort to stabilize the dollar. But they have not been able to deal with one of the main underlying reasons for the weakness of the dollar, our enormous oil imports, because this matter falls within the competence of the Energy Department.

In my judgment it is essential to fashion an integrated approach to these interrelated issues. This would benefit the development of both monetary and energy policies. The dollar should begin to strengthen when money managers become convinced that the United States has taken and will continue to take hard measures to reduce oil imports. Relating more explicitly the strength of the dollar to the level of oil imports should make it easier to persuade Congress and the country to make the sacrifices necessary to reduce consumption of oil and to develop alternative sources of energy.

[Page 317]

To begin to integrate these policies, I recommend that you talk to the President and send out the memorandum at Tab A.2 I have talked at length to Treasury, State, and CEA. They would welcome such a memorandum. It is possible that DOE will protest. Accordingly, it is essential that the President know why he is being asked to send out this memorandum.3

Henry Owen agrees.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 8, Balance of Payments: 12/77–2/79. Confidential. Sent for action.
  2. Tab A, attached but not printed, is an undated and unsigned draft memorandum from Brzezinski to the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Energy, the CEA Chairman, the OMB Director, and the President’s Assistant for Domestic Affairs and Policy entitled “The Dollar.”
  3. A handwritten notation at the bottom of the page reads: “A memo to the President is being prepared in response to your request.” According to the NSC Correspondence Profile, the memorandum was subsequently redrafted. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 8, Balance of Payments: 12/77–2/79) The final version is printed as Document 105.