103.9169/2551a: Circular airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics 57

From FEA, Bureau of Areas, Pan-American Branch, to the FEA Special Representatives. For reasons related to production problems in the United States and other special factors as given in the respective circular airgrams which follow, it is proposed at this time to remove the following items effective March 1, 1944 from the Import Recommendation* procedure:

Trucks, passenger cars, buses and other motor vehicles.
Repair parts for maintenance of capital equipment (excluding assembly parts).
Radio receiving tubes and other radio equipment.
Office machinery and appliances, including typewriters.
Petroleum products.

In view of the various considerations which determined the choice of the above commodity groups, we are today sending separate circular airgrams covering each group with specific proposals.

In presenting these proposals for consideration by the Embassy and the Certifying Agency, we wish you to reiterate that these recommendations are due to production and related problems as indicated in the separate airgrams as well as to the desire to reduce to a minimum paper work for exporters and importers on shipments of these materials to the country to which you are accredited.

This objective cannot be attained, however, if the foreign governments attempt to establish new documentary controls, such as import permit systems, in substitution for the relaxation in the Decentralization procedure proposed herein. Some countries have already established national import controls correlated to the Import Recommendation procedures and integrated with the exchange control systems previously established but it is highly desirable that such minimum exchange controls as may now be in existence not be encumbered additionally by new forms of controls. In explaining this position to the foreign government you may refer to the general and well known desire of this Government to liberate trade whenever possible of all unnecessary documentation and controls and to request where controls are for valid reasons inescapable (such as exchange control in some instances), to have them administered on a non-discriminatory and most-favored-nation basis.

The Foreign Economic Administration representative and the Embassy are requested to consult and promptly inform the Foreign Economic Administration of the reactions of the Embassy and the Certifying Agency with respect to the five commodity classes on which action is now requested inasmuch as the Foreign Economic Administration desires to make these modifications effective March 1, 1944, or as shortly thereafter as possible but not later than March 15, 1944. In instituting this rollback the Foreign Economic Administration will endeavor, insofar as is possible, to fully honor those applications accompanied by corresponding Import Recommendations already issued.

For the confidential information of the Mission the Foreign Economic Administration and the Department have under consideration the possibility of proposing a further rollback of Decentralization to become effective as of July 1, 1944, and of establishing at that time a positive list of only those commodities which must still continue [Page 655] under the Decentralization procedure. One of the major considerations in mind with respect to this problem is the desire to avoid jeopardizing our future trade position by the continuance of documentary controls which are susceptible of developing into trade barriers which may throttle the movement of commodities as and when the emergency diminishes. [FEA.]

  1. Sent to the diplomatic representatives in all the American Republics except Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
  2. Brazil—Preference Request Recommendation. [Footnote in the original.]