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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Canada,   pp. 160-199 PDF (14.9 MB)

Page 163

standing and go a considerable distance towards preventing further
ones. I desire again to commend you for the able manner in which
you presented our views to the Prime Minister in your conversation
with him.
  It has occurred to me that it might be helpful to give you some
further background information for use orally in your discretion on
any suitable occasion in future conversations with Canadian officials,
and the following paragraphs have been written with that in view:
  The American Government has visualized its trade agreement
program as a broad frontal attack upon trade barriers which have
stifled world trade and which will plunge the world into another de-
pression unless drastic steps are taken to eliminate them. We have
continued to hope that since practically without exception every
important nation in the world recognizes the soundness of the sys-
tematic reduction of trade barriers, other countries would feel im-
pelled to undertake similar programs, the cumulative effect of which
would greatly hasten the restoration of world trade and contribute
materially to the all important end of preserving world peace.
  It has been our view that such a program, undertaken by a large
number of important governments on broad lines, would not only con-
tribute to these ends but would make it possible for the United States
to conclude trade agreements with other countries with which it has
not been found feasible to negotiate thus far, and to negotiate on a
broader front, along more comprehensive lines, with countries with
which trade agreements have already been signed. In this spirit, we
have regarded the trade agreement of November 15, 1935, between the
United States and Canada, important though it is within itself, as a
first step toward a more comprehensive agreement between our two
  As you know, we have, in pursuance of our program, signed sixteen
trade agreements involving reductions in our tariff rates on more than
five hundred products. Since the signature of our trade agreement
with Canada we have actively pursued our trade agreement program
and have signed nine agreements with other countries in which the
American import duties were reduced on approximately two hundred
twenty-five products, in addition to a large number of commitments
to retain products on the free list or to bind the existing rates of duty.
All of these tariff benefits have been generalized to all countries which
extend equality of treatment to American trade.
  Throughout this period our Government has resisted, and sucess-
fully resisted, the pressure by powerful influences to increase im-
port duties. Our Government has, moreover, sacrificed many op-
portunities for immediate trade gains through purely bilateral agree-
ments, and has negotiated no trade agreement in which it undertook
to take advantage of its surplus of imports from any country in such

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