Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. C. Thayer White of the Division of Commercial Policy and Agreements

Participants: Mr. Allah Yar Saleh, Chief, Iranian Trade and Economic Commission
Mr. Hawkins, TA
Mr. Parker, NE
Mr. Durnan, NE73
Mr. White, TA

At Mr. Saleh’s request, our procedure in negotiating trade agreements was outlined in some detail and he was given a copy each of the Trade Agreements Act,74 the statement of Mr. Fox in January 1940 before the Committee on Ways and Means,75 and the notice of intention to negotiate (and related material) with Peru.76 It was noted, among other things, (1) that the Committee on Trade Agreements together with its subcommittees represents our method of carrying out Section 4 of the Trade Agreements Act, (2) that we [Page 279] publish along with public notice possible Schedule II items77 but do not make public the items with respect to which the United States would request concessions, and (3) that as a matter of practice public notice is given not less than thirty days prior to the date of the hearings.

Mr. Saleh said that if there was no objection he would like for us to discuss the general provisions at the next meeting, at which time the Iranian Minister and Dr. Nasr78 would be present. In this connection, Mr. Saleh requested that the draft set of general provisions that was given to the Iranian Minister by Mr. Hawkins on April 10, 194179 be used as the basis of discussion. He said that he understood the draft was tentative in character and had not been approved by the trade-agreements organization.

Mr. Saleh said that Dr. Nasr had brought to his attention the fact that under Iranian law the Iranian Government cannot reduce customs duties below a certain fixed minimum, and indicated that he would like to have any suggestions we might have to offer in that regard. He pointed out that if in a trade agreement with the United States Iran reduced customs duties below the aforementioned minimum, other Governments, contiguous to Iran, likely would demand similar reductions, which Iran could not refuse. In reply, Mr. Hawkins indicated that we would look into the matter in order to ascertain our requirements.

It was agreed to meet for further discussions on Friday, February 6, 10 a.m.

  1. James J. Durnan, Division of Near Eastern Affairs.
  2. Approved June 12, 1934; 48 Stat. 943. As extended April 12, 1940; 54 Stat. 107.
  3. Statement of Hon. A. Manuel Fox, member of United States Tariff Commission. See Extension of Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act: Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, 76th Cong., 3d sess., on H.J.R. 407 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1940), vol. i, p. 491.
  4. Department of State Bulletin, January 3, 1942, p. 22.
  5. List of products on which the United States would consider granting concessions to Iran.
  6. T. Nasr, member of the Iranian Trade and Economic Commission.
  7. Not printed; see memorandum by Mr. White, April 10, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. iii, p. 368.