611.2231/92a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State30

138. The Ecuadoran Government has notified our Chargé d’Affaires in Quito that it is willing to negotiate a trade agreement on the basis of the unconditional most-favored-nation clause and will grant 50 percent reductions in the customs duties on flour and lard in return for concessions and assurances on its chief exports to the United States.

On the basis of this information the Trade Agreements Committee this morning recommended that public announcement of intention to negotiate a trade agreement with Ecuador be made with the least possible delay. We feel here that it would be desirable to proceed with announcement as soon as possible since we are anxious to inaugurate the new procedure for public hearings (which we discussed with you before your departure for Buenos Aires) prior to opening of discussion in Congress of renewal of the Trade Agreements Act. In this manner we believe we may forestall objectionable amendments to the Act.

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This agreement has the important and practically unique advantage at the moment of not involving consideration of any controversial product in Schedule II.

In view of these considerations we believe we should press forward with Ecuador and would greatly appreciate receiving your instructions on the subject.

  1. Secretary of State Cordell Hull attended the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace, held at Buenos Aires, December 1–23, 1936 (see pp. 3 ff.), as the Chairman of the American delegation.