141. Memorandum From the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (Strauss) to President Carter1

On July 4 I met with Ambassador Togo and other representatives of the Japanese Government.2 On being advised that they would not be forthcoming on beef, citrus and certain other agricultural products, I took an exceedingly firm line. I was very clear on what I thought of the future of this market for Japanese imports with Congressional protectionist attitudes hardening daily. They were also advised that neither you nor I could hold off the Congress much longer. I also expressed my extreme displeasure over their failure to do better in the industrial sector.

On the same day, I received information with respect to the negotiating mandate granted the EC negotiators by their Ministers.3 If they give everything under their mandate, there would be insufficient agriculture access on tobacco, grain, citrus and so forth. We were also advised by the European Community that the Ministers would not meet to even consider improved authority prior to September 30. They are also too negative on export subsidies, among other things.4

Accordingly, yesterday after talking with Stu and Jody, I went public with the fact that we would not have a complete trade package in time for the Bonn Summit.5 In my judgment, the firmness of our negotiation position was well received by domestic agricultural and in [Page 433] dustrial interests. Additionally, you will leave for Bonn a week from now with my having failed to deliver a trade package for the Summit—not you having failed to return with one. I am leaving tomorrow for Geneva and will furnish Henry Owen with last minute details so that he may adequately brief you on the way over. I will go from Geneva and be in Bonn on Friday.6

Mr. President, I discussed with Jim McIntyre again this morning a “hiring freeze”. I hope you will consider imposing one, without notice, and before it begins to be speculated in the press. In my judgment, it will be exceedingly well received in this country and also gives you one more additional anti-inflation move having been made when you arrive at the Summit.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 364, 364–80–4, Special Trade Representative Subject Files, 1977–1979, Box 8, White House Official #2. No classification marking. Printed from a copy that does not bear Strauss’ initials.
  2. No other record of this meeting was found.
  3. On June 27, the EC Council of Ministers approved the negotiating mandate for the final stage of the multilateral trade negotiations. According to telegram 12679 from USEC Brussels, June 28, the issues that proved to be “the major sticking points” among the EC Ministers and officials were agriculture, subsidies and countervailing duties, and selective safeguards. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780267–0843) Telegram 12714 from USEC Brussels, June 28, and telegram 12739 from USEC Brussels, June 29, discussed the EC negotiating mandate. (National Archives, RG 59 Central Foreign Policy File, D780267–1042 and D780270–1199, respectively) Telegram 12788 from USEC Brussels, June 29, described unofficial French, British, and Italian reservations to the mandate. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780269–0612)
  4. It is not clear how Strauss received this information. On Strauss’ instructions, McDonald met with Gundelach on July 4 in Brussels to talk about the trade negotiations; among the items they discussed were agriculture and subsidies. (Telegram 10138 from Geneva, July 5; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780275–1148)
  5. Both The Washington Post and The New York Times printed articles in their July 6 editions. See James L. Rowe, Jr., “Trade Accord Called Unlikely Before Summit,” The Washington Post, July 6, 1978, p. A1; and Edward Cowan, “Strauss Pressing European Nations to Lift Curb on U.S. Farm Imports,” The New York Times, July 6, 1978, p. A1.
  6. July 14.