Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Mexican Affairs (Tanis)

Dr. Campos-Ortíz, Counselor of the Mexican Embassy, called on me this morning in regard to his recent inquiry concerning the time of negotiation of a reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and Mexico. I told him that according to the present schedule for negotiations, Mexico will probably be reached towards the end of the coming winter, although it is not absolutely certain that this will be so. I added that since the Department desires to meet the apparent desire of Mexico that negotiations begin as soon as practicable it will be pleased to take up the matter with Mexico sooner, if possible.

Dr. Campos-Ortíz then asked whether I had any word for him respecting the modus vivendi. I advised him that upon the receipt from him of a personal or other unofficial communication containing data [Page 389] of the character above outlined, the matter would be given further attention. Respecting the suggestion that we would be more likely to be interested in the proposal were Mexico to offer concessions on certain of our important agricultural products, Dr. Campos-Ortíz asked whether I could mention some such products. In reply I suggested, as examples, that an offer of concession on lard, ham and canned milk would perhaps be appropriate. I then told him that even in the negotiation of a modus vivendi it would be necessary to have hearings as provided in the Tariff Bargaining Act,6 and that consequently it would not be probable that a modus vivendi could be signed before about December 15, should it be decided to follow that course. Finally I told him that in view of the pressure of work resulting from other projected negotiations no assurance could be given that we would be in a position to proceed with the modus vivendi even though it were considered desirable as a matter of policy.

Dr. Campos-Ortíz pointed out that a new administration will take office in Mexico on December 1, 1934, and that it would be extremely desirable that the modus vivendi, if negotiated, be signed before the new administration assumes office. He then stated that the Embassy would report to the Mexican Foreign Office and that pending a reply, he would be unable to say what would be done in the matter.

R. C. T[anis]
  1. Act approved June 12, 1934; 48 Stat. 943.