13. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts in Europe1

1783. EEC-EFTA Relations.

Department somewhat concerned over reports of discussion possible creation “political umbrella” (Bonn 3266)2 or “roof over EFTA and EEC” (Bonn 3285)3 and apparently related suggestion by Erhard that “European position” toward Kennedy Round be developed through coordination EEC and EFTA positions (Hague 1275).4
If this approach were to be taken seriously, it could be potentially harmful both to Kennedy Round and to further development European political unity for these reasons:
Inference that Europe as whole has interests significantly different from those of US and others in Kennedy Round.
Creation of special competitive groups such as EFTA/EEC vs. US or US/EFTA vs. EEC (Depcirtel 1443)5 is unsound premise on which to base politically important and mutually beneficial trade negotiations.
Implications which might be drawn from equating even on relatively loose basis EEC, which is functioning nucleus united Europe, and EFTA, which because of neutral status of some of its members and their resistance to idea of common policies has no potential to become more than limited commercial arrangement.
Most dangerous in long term, implicit reduction of political content of European integration to lowest common denominator, e.g., links based solely on intra-European trade, and possible discrimination by such a grouping against US exports.
If by “cooperation” Erhard meant ad hoc consultations between EEC and EFTA member countries on Kennedy Round issues (Bonn 3266), we would of course have no objection.
Request all addressees report any further indications any senior Europeans considering EEC/EFTA links for Kennedy Round. If necessary, posts may draw on message in discussions with officials but not media.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, ECIN 6 EEC-EFTA. Confidential. Drafted by Joel W. Biller and George R. Kaplan (EUR/RPE); cleared by EUR/RPE, GER, and E; and approved by Schaetzel. Sent to the European Community posts (Geneva for Mission and GATT), Bern, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lisbon, Oslo, Vienna, and Stockholm.
  2. Dated March 12. (Ibid., POL 7 SWE)
  3. Dated March 13. (Ibid.)
  4. Dated March 5. (Ibid., POL 7 GER W)
  5. Dated February 6. (Ibid., ECIN 6 EFTA-US)