43. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan1

163810. For Ambassador Mansfield. Subject: U.S./EC Consultations on MTN. From: Ambassador Strauss for Ambassador Mansfield.

1. In discussions between myself and EC Commission President Roy Jenkins, on Monday, July 11, we have reached agreement on an ambitious timetable for putting together the major elements of an MTN [Page 154] package before the end of the year.2 I would appreciate it if you could do me the personal favor of explaining the results of my meeting in Brussels to Prime Minister Fukuda, Foreign Minister Ichiro Hatayama and Finance Minister Hideo Bo.

2. On July 11, I met with EC Commission President Roy Jenkins, and Vice President Haferkamp, and Commissioners Gundelach, and Davignon to discuss how we could best implement the Summit commitment to achieve substantial progress in the multilateral trade negotiations in 1977. As you know, both President Carter and Prime Minister Fukuda were quite firm on this goal.

3. I found President Jenkins and his colleagues extremely positive and pragmatic, and very eager to infuse the multilateral trade negotiations with a sense of purpose and urgency. They recognize that an ambitious effort is needed if current protectionist pressures in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere are to be overcome. Roy Jenkins and his colleagues assured me that they would assume personal responsibility for achieving agreement on the main elements of a substantial MTN package before the end of the year.

4. We also agreed that achievement of our goal would require a set of interim steps, and that we needed to set dates for each of these interim tasks. We agreed to seek the agreement of other MTN participants to a plan along the following lines, though we delayed announcement of the details until the Commission has had a chance to consult all the member states.

A. Agreement during July on procedures for handling negotiations of agricultural issues and non-tariff issues not covered by multilateral codes or agreements.

B. Agreement by October 1 on a tariff plan, including a tariff formula, language covering the treatment of agricultural tariffs, and procedures for negotiating tariff concessions with developing countries, and developed countries not applying the formula.

C. By November 1 all countries would table requests for agricultural commitments and for commitments on non-tariff measures not covered by multilateral codes or agreements.

D. Agreement by December 15 on draft texts for all multilateral codes and agreements to be included in an MTN package.

E. By January 15, all countries would table offers in all areas of the negotiations.

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5. In setting these goals, I recognized, and the EC Commission recognizes, that a very intensive effort would be required by all our staffs. However, we and the EC agreed that such an effort is required if we are to succeed in these negotiations and avoid the dangerous consequences of a slide into protectionism.

6. I also stated to the EC officials the confidence that President Carter and I as his STR had that we could count on the full cooperation of the Fukuda government on this entire program.

7. I and Ambassador Wolff hope to travel to Japan at an early date to consult with the Japanese Government on the MTN timetable and on the substantive issues which must be resolved if we are to succeed.

8. In the interim, I would like to urge Prime Minister Fukuda and his Cabinet colleagues to instruct their staffs to accelerate the work of their staffs in order that we may achieve the goals established at the Summit.3

9. Please extend to Prime Minister Fukuda and his Cabinet colleagues my congratulations for their victory in the Upper House elections,4 and my very best wishes. I also send you and Mrs. Mansfield my warmest affection.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770250–0373. Limited Official Use; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Feketekuty (STR), cleared by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Trade Policy William Barraclough and Thomas G. Martin (S/S–O), and approved by Strauss.
  2. Memoranda of conversation of Strauss’ July 11 meetings with EC officials in Brussels are in the National Archives, RG 364, 364–80–4, Special Trade Representative Subject Files, 1977–1979, Box 3, European Community 1977.
  3. See footnote 5, Document 45.
  4. After losing seats in a July 10 election, the Fukuda government reestablished a majority in the Upper House with the support of three independent members. (Andrew H. Malcolm, “Fukuda Party Keeps Upper House Control,” The New York Times, July 12, 1977, p. 1)