611.123 Vegetables/54: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico (Daniels)

144. Your despatch No. 1771, September 11. Import duty on Cuban tomatoes is established by agreement with that country at one and eight-tenths cents per pound during months of December, January and February and it is further provided in the agreement that the tariff rate accorded Cuba shall be at least twenty per cent, lower than that applying to tomatoes from any other country. Consequently the minimum rate that could be accorded Mexican tomatoes would under existing conditions be two and one-quarter cents per pound for the same months unless a further reduction is granted Cuba which probably is impossible at this time.

Reductions are granted Cuba on lima beans, cucumbers, okra, and eggplant but it is not believed Mexico is particularly interested in these. No reduction has been granted Cuba on peas.

Please bring foregoing to the attention of Foreign Office and state that before giving further consideration to the matter of entering into negotiation of a limited tariff agreement with Mexico as proposed by the Foreign Minister the Department desires to be informed whether the Mexican Government understands the situation with respect to Cuba and is sufficiently interested in the above mentioned maximum possible reduction on tomatoes to proceed with discussions.

It should be made clear to the Mexican authorities that provisions of agreement with Cuba prevent extending to any other country rates of duty as low as those applicable to Cuban products and that no agreement with Mexico could be made by this Government except in full compliance with the procedural and substantive provisions of the Trade Agreements Act of 1934.

Report by telegraph.