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242. Summary of Conclusions of a Presidential Meeting1

SUBJECT

  • Trade Talks with Japan

PARTICIPANTS

  • White House
  • The President
  • STR
  • Reubin Askew, United States Trade Representative
  • NSC
  • Rutherford Poats, NSC Staff

Summary of Conclusions

Governor Askew reported that his discussions with the Japanese Government and automobile industry executives had yielded better results than expected,2 principally:

—the Japanese Government’s decision to propose to the Diet removal of all tariffs on automobile parts next year;

—acceptance of nine of the twelve US requests for changes in Japan’s testing standards;

—scheduling of two Japanese government-industry missions to the United States on buying of auto parts and investment in US manufacture of parts for Japanese autos;

—Toyota’s public commitment to go into production of cars in the United States if pending feasibility studies are favorable and Toyota’s management supports this conclusion.3

He was confident that a change in government after the June elections4 would not nullify this progress.

Governor Askew reported no immediate progress in opening Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) procurement to US suppliers, but he believed he had enhanced prospects for satisfaction on this issue by insisting that Japan apply the MTN code on government procure[Page 700]ment fully to NTT or risk losing access to $16 billion in USG procurement.

The President endorsed this tough line. He also asked Governor Askew to maintain pressure on Japan to carry out its automobile trade and investment commitments.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 41, Japan: 3–5/80. Confidential. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.
  2. Telegram 8747 from Tokyo, May 16, reported on Askew’s May 10–15 visit to Tokyo. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800241–0834)
  3. Telegram 8462 from Tokyo, May 13, transmitted the texts of a series of documents on the resolution of issues in the U.S.-Japanese automobile trade. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800236–1002)
  4. A national election took place in Japan on June 22.