611.3531/1527: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Armour) to the Secretary of State

183. Embassy’s 152, May 22, 9 a.m. A report to the following effect has been received by the local office of the Associated Press:

“The Department of Agriculture indicated it would ask the Tariff Commission to impose import barriers against Argentine corn. The Department said it was learned upwards of 5,000 bushels Argentine corn was contracted for delivery to Pacific Coast ports this month. This corn is subject to existing import duty of 25 cents a bushel. Officials explained that inasmuch as North American corn prices are considerably above world level, Argentine shippers apparently could pay the duty and still profit. The Tariff Commission has authority to impose import quotas on competitive farm products. Officials emphasized the United States has surplus corn and consequently has no need of importing it.[”]

Realizing the harm that would be done to Argentine-American relations by such a news story, the local Associated Press office has cabled for full confirmation before releasing it. It would be appreciated if the Department would inform this mission by telegraph whether any such move as that outlined is contemplated.