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May 14, 1979 – CBS World News Roundup – The World Tonight – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
May 14, 1979 – not a good day if you were running out of gas, but a great day if you owned a Chinese business. On this day in 1979, Commerce Secretary Juanita Kreps was in Shanghai, China crossing t’s and dotting i’s on a sweeping new Trade agreement between the U.S. and The People’s Republic of China. The Agreement was to give China the much-coveted “most favored nation” trade status, which Mrs. Kreps saw as a way for the two countries to expand trade to its full potential. Negotiators for the agreement had been at work for over a week, ironing out last minute snags. What the ultimate goal of the agreement was to formalize U.S./China trade relations, and as Mrs. Kreps put it; “The U.S. gets a vast market”. The Chinese saw it as a way of getting lower U.S. import tariffs on Chinese products. It also removed a major obstacle in China’s ability to apply for American credit.
On the home front – the gas shortage was grinding on, with no end in sight. It didn’t help matters that Saudi Arabis’s Sheik Yamani was lecturing Americans on driving too much – this in light of the Saudis driving up the price of oil, but not increasing the quantity. Americans he said, were largely driving up the price of gas. For now it was down to odd days and even days and limits on the amount of gas you could buy. Lines were snaking around blocks, gas stations were running out and nerves were getting frayed and worries were about supplies being sufficient for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
And Queen Elizabeth was getting ready to open a new session of the Conservative-dominated Parliament. Britons were expecting to hear some, but not much, about the country’s sudden swing to the right under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.
And that’s a little of what went on, this May 14, 1979 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup and World Tonight, via KNX-AM in Los Angeles.