120. Letter From Secretary of State Vance to the Director of Office of Management and Budget (McIntyre)1
I find completely unacceptable the proposed OMB levies of 35 additional American positions for transfer from State to Commerce and 5 from State to STR under the Trade Reorganization Plan.2
We have done our best to work cooperatively with Commerce and STR to carry out the President’s decision. As you know, we identified 649 positions—162 American officer positions and 487 Foreign Service National positions—to move to Commerce to insure that the transfer of the commercial trade function in 65 countries abroad would work as effectively as possible. Our people have been helping Commerce plan for the new Foreign Commercial Service. Similarly, we have worked successfully with STR to reach an agreed division of functions on trade policy matters.
These further proposed OMB actions would strip State of 15 domestic American administrative support positions, 15 American secretarial [Page 499] positions overseas, 8 substantive officers from the small Bureau of Business and Economic Affairs (5 for Commerce and 3 for STR), and 2 officer positions from our Mission to the UN in Geneva. The simple arithmetic basis on which these levies were premised is completely specious and the offices from which the proposed positions would come are fully engaged in other matters.
As I stressed to you personally and reiterated by letter on September 20, 1979,3 I consider it absolutely essential not to further deplete my domestic or overseas staff by the loss of any additional positions. All of the principal proponents of the Reorganization Plan have agreed that the Department of State and my office will have continuing important responsibilities in the trade policy and related international economic policy fields for which adequate staffing is required.
The proposed levies are particularly intolerable at this time when the Foreign Service is experiencing extraordinary stress and when OMB is asking the Department to absorb deep and unacceptable cuts in its available resources in other essential areas.
I believe these actions should be reversed, and I hope we can get together and discuss this issue at a convenient time today.