180. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1


  • Romanian Trade: Presidential Waiver

The Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Jackson-Vanik provision, requires a Presidential waiver to extend Most Favored Nation (MFN) treatment and government sponsored credits to any “socialist” country. [Page 540] Your determination and waiver must be received by the Congress by June 2, 1977. There are two decisions: (1) a general recommendation to continue the Presidential waiver authority, as provided for under the law; this permits you to grant MFN to a communist country if you find that doing so will promote the objectives of the law, i.e., freer emigration; and (2) a specific waiver of the law as applied to Romania so that the US-Romanian Trade Agreement of 1975 will continue in force.

In the past it has seemed clearly in our national interest to exempt Romania from the Jackson-Vanik provisions, which were directed against the USSR. Recently, however, there has been some growing concern that Romania was not permitting emigration and was hardening its internal repression. Fifty-five Congressmen sent you a letter indicating such concerns.2 Nevertheless, emigration to Israel continues at a rate (undetermined) that is satisfactory to the Israeli government, which concluded a secret arrangement with Romania. And emigration to the US has actually increased in the years since the waiver was first granted.

Secretary Vance recommends that you extend the waiver to Romania for another 12 months, and that you also recommend the general extension of the waiver provision (Vance memo is at Tab C).3


1. That you sign the Presidential determination at Tab A, that extends the general waiver provisions.4

2. That you sign the specific waiver for Romania and the message to the Congress at Tab B. 5

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 45, Romania: 1977. No classification marking. Sent for action. Hyland forwarded it under a covering memorandum to Brzezinski on May 26. Printed from a copy that does not bear Brzezinski’s initials.
  2. Not attached.
  3. Not attached.
  4. Carter signed PD 77–14 on June 2. (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, p. 1057)
  5. The President signed the specific extension of the waiver for Romania on June 2. (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 1055–1056)