20. Editorial Note

On April 9, 1977, Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal, acting in his capacity as the Chairman of the Economic Policy Group, forwarded to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and the Special Representative for Economic Summits, Henry Owen, a paper entitled “Final Report and Recommendations: Economic Issues at the London Summit.” The paper, which was drafted by the Economic Policy Group, was prepared in response to Presidential Review Memorandum 7 (see Document 3). (Memorandum from Blumenthal to Brzezinski and Owen, April 9; Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 25, PRM–07)

During an April 14 Policy Review Committee meeting on Europe, Owen discussed the status of the preparations for the London G–7 Summit, highlighting several issues likely to prove contentious: “British-German differences over economic stimulation, British reservations on trade and strong North-South commitments, and French objections to non-proliferation if reprocessing is excluded from the international fuel cycle evaluation.” Assistant Secretary of the Treasury C. Fred Bergsten asserted “that one version of the small-car rebate included in the President’s energy program would dominate the Summit, suggesting, especially in combination with the Zenith issue, that the United States was turning protectionist.” The national energy plan presented by President Jimmy Carter to Congress on April 20 included a provision to offer rebates on purchases of fuel-efficient cars made in the United States and Canada; purchases of cars produced in other countries would be eligible for rebates “on the basis of treaties or executive agreements entered into between these countries and the United States. The President’s Special Representative for Trade Negotiations will work with other nations to develop equitable rebate agreements.” See the Fact Sheet on the President’s plan in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977, Book I, page 674.

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance argued against the institutionalization of summits, suggesting instead that the United States “try to make better use of existing cooperative institutions. Others agreed, while pointing out the utility of informal small groups. Owen pointed out the need for following up the agreements at the Seven Nation Summit. The NATO Summit may foreshadow a successor next year; there will be no commitment to another Seven Nation Summit in London, although the Canadians have talked of initiating one.” (Summary of discussion, April 14; Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 60, PRC 012, 4/14/77, Western Europe and International Summit—PRM).