On U.S.–Japanese Trade Relations: “For too long our agreements with Japan have produced ambiguities rather than measurable results” SOLD

Signed by Bill Clinton

SOLD
Item: 19474
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CLINTON, BILL. (b. 1946). Forty-second president of the United States. TLS. (“Bill Clinton”). 1p. 4to. White House, March 10, 1994. On pale green White House stationery bearing the blind-embossed seal of the United States. To Senator DANIEL PATRICK “PAT” MOYNIHAN (1927-2003).

I appreciated your letter supporting my efforts to achieve real change in U.S. – Japan economic relations. As you know, I am committed to including in our trade agreements objective criteria by which we can measure Japan’s progress toward market openness. While we were not able to conclude agreements during the Prime Minister’s visit, I am convinced it was better to reach no agreement than to accept a weak, cosmetic one which would not lead to positive changes in the economic relationship. For too long our agreements with Japan have produced ambiguities rather than measurable results. I want to alter that pattern and have recently reinstituted ‘Super 301’ by Executive Order to help achieve that goal. I look forward to working with you to achieve progress in this important area.”

Clinton, a former Arkansas governor, became the youngest president since Kennedy upon his 1993 election, and his re-election made him the first Democrat since FDR to serve a full second term. Clinton’s 8-year tenure marked the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in America’s post-war history, and he left office with the highest approval rating of any president in the second half of the 20th century, (“Presidents and Prosperity,” Forbes). Unfortunately, a series of sex scandals overshadowed his accomplishments. His 1998 impeachment by the House was only the second time in American history that a president had been impeached (the first being Andrew Johnson in 1868).  Both presidents were acquitted by the Senate.

Moynihan served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations as assistant secretary of labor until 1965. Following a failed bid for election to the New York City Council, Moynihan became director of the Harvard–MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies. Despite being a Democrat, he was selected by President Richard Nixon to be his counselor on urban affairs. His subsequent diplomatic career included ambassadorships to India and the United Nations. In 1977, he was elected to the Senate, representing New York from 1977 to 2001.

Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto in 1996

Our letter regards Clinton’s effort to address a trade imbalance with Japan, an effort that began during the Reagan administration. After eight months of negotiations with Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa failed to open Japanese markets to an increase in American goods, Clinton, on March 4, 1994, used an executive order to reinstate Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, which allows the president or another trade representative to take action against foreign governments that are burdening or restricting U.S. commerce. The move was condemned by both Japan and the World Trade Organization and sparked fears of a trade war. The Clinton administration’s efforts, including the threat of tariffs, resulted in increased access to Japanese markets, most notably during the high-profile 1995 talks that opened up the Japanese auto industry to American auto parts manufacturers. However, despite Clinton’s and subsequent American presidents’ efforts, the U.S.-Japan trade imbalance remains. Never folded and in mint condition.

On U.S.–Japanese Trade Relations: “For too long our agreements with Japan have produced ambiguities rather than measurable results” SOLD

Signed by Bill Clinton

SOLD • item #19474


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