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March 19, 1981
The auto task force met with Cabinet—still some disagreement about any quotas on Japanese imports. Some even with regard to a Japanese voluntary cutback. The V.P. summed it up nicely. He said we’re all for free enterprise but would any of us find fault if Japan announced without any request from us that they were going to reduce their export of autos to America? There was no dissent. I told them I’d heard enough I would make a decision. Privately I told Al Haig to call Amb. Mike Mansfield and have Mike advice “Ito” before his visit that we were threatened by a bill in Cong. to set a quota. An announcement by Japan of a voluntary cutback could head that off. We’ll see what happens. Al then told me he felt he was being undercut by other agencies etc. I worry that he has something of a complex about this. Anyway I’ve arranged that he & I meet privately 3x a week. Kennedy Center in the evening for “Little Foxes” starring Liz Taylor. She was darn good—so was the show.