611.6131/317: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

202. My 192, May 14, 1 p.m.25 Litvinov this afternoon handed me a counter draft of note reading as follows:

“I have the honor to refer to recent conversations in regard to commerce between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and to the trade agreements program of the United States and to confirm and to make of record by this note the following agreement which has been reached between the governments of our respective countries:

As long as this agreement remains in force, articles the growth produce or manufacture of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics imported into the United States of America will enjoy there in all respects the most favored nation treatment and especially with respect to customs duties proclaimed by the President of the United States of America pursuant to any trade agreement ratified or having come into force under the authority of the Act entitled ‘An Act to amend the Tariff’ Act of 1930’ approved June 12th 1934. It is understood that nothing in this agreement shall be construed to require the application to articles the growth produce or manufacture of the Soviet Union of duties or exemptions from duties proclaimed pursuant to any trade agreement between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba which has been or may hereafter be concluded.

On its part the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will take steps to increase substantially the amount of purchases in the United States for export to the Soviet Union of articles the growth produce or manufacture of the United States of America.

This agreement shall come into force on the date of signature thereof. It shall continue in effect for 12 months. Both parties agree that not less than thirty days prior to the expiration of the aforesaid period of twelve months they shall start negotiations regarding the extension of the period during which the present agreement shall continue in force.

Accept Excellency, et cetera”.

He stated positively that the Soviet Government would not under any circumstances agree to purchase a definite quantity of American goods and added that as Soviet purchasing plans are now made on a one year basis the Soviet Government would undertake no obligations for a longer period than a year.

I said to Litvinov that I regretted this decision greatly as I considered that it meant the death of the proposal and that the Soviet Union would not get most favored nation treatment. He made no reply.

Bullitt
  1. Not printed.