Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Grady)
When Dr. Hans Hartenstein came to see me with Dr. Meyer28 on February 4 , we discussed our withdrawal of most-favored-nation treatment of German imports. Dr. Hartenstein had little to suggest in the way of a solution of German-American trade relations that had not been suggested by Dr. Bitter last October.29 He frankly admitted that Germany could not at once give us most-favored-nation treatment on exchange allocation. He said, however, that he was giving continued study to this matter and I suggested that he might care to make some quite informal suggestions which we could study. [Page 222] He said he would do this, sending any plan he had to Dr. Meyer who in turn would give it to me informally.
Dr. Meyer called today and said the German Embassy had received a cable this morning outlining a suggestion for the reestablishment of most-favored-nation treatment by Germany through the plan attached herewith. I discussed this plan with Dr. Meyer, for I at once saw certain objections to it. I stated, however, that it would be given the most careful study and that I would talk to him later. I suspect suggestion of a plan has been influenced by the information which the German Government has regarding countervailing duties on German imports into the United States. Dr. Meyer called my attention to the fact that the German Government was now making payments on the Dawes-Young loans and was showing in other respects a desire to develop good will with the United States. He, of course, made no direct reference to the prospects of countervailing duties on German imports.
While the outline of the attached plan is not entirely clear, it does indicate certain interesting developments in German policy. It seems to indicate a willingness to depart from the established German policy of bilateral balancing.
- Ernst Wilhelm Meyer, First Secretary of the German Embassy in Washington.↩
- Karl Hitter, Head of the Economic Section of the German Foreign Office. See Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. ii, pp. 438 ff.↩
- Reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and The Netherlands, signed December 20, 1935, Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 100, or 50 Stat. 1504.↩