Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Commercial Policy (Moore)

Subject: Commercial Policy Discussions with Italian Officials

[Page 853]
Participants: Mr. Campilli, Minister of Foreign Trade
Mr. Menichella, Director General of the Bank of Italy
Mr. Carli, Director, Office of Exchange Control, Ministry of Foreign Trade
Mr. Vogliolo, Commercial Counselor
Mr. Sacerdoti, Chief of Italian Technical Delegation
Mr. Ortona, Italian Embassy A–T – Messrs. Thorp and Reinstein
OFD – Mr. Ness
SE – Mr. Dowling
FN – Messrs. Spiegel and Stibravy
LE – Mr. Boskey
CP – Mr. Moore

Mr. Thorp opened the discussion by outlining in general terms the present status of the program for expansion of world trade through reduction of trade barriers. He explained that it was not possible for the Italian Government to participate in the work of the Preparatory Commission in view of the limited membership of this body as established by ECOSOC. Although the determination of the countries which will participate in the world trade conference and the organization of the ITO has not yet been decided, the United States Government will support the extension of an invitation to Italy. Consequently, the United States Government would be interested in the present view of the Italian Government on the trade program.

In reply Mr. Campilli stated that the Italian Government had studied the proposed charter for the ITO and was in accord with the principles upon which it was based. The importance for Italy of a program to reduce barriers to world trade is greatly increased by reason of such factors as the great dependence of the Italian economy on imports of raw materials. The Italian Government is hopeful that the program for limiting international restrictions can be extended to international movement of man power, as well as trade in view of the difficult problem of unemployment confronting Italy. The Italian Government has entered into eight bi-lateral compensation agreements with other countries because of the difficulties of developing European trade by any other means under present conditions. It hopes that the use of such bi-lateral machinery will be eliminated in the near future by the adoption of the world wide multilateral trade program sponsored by the United States.

Mr. Thorp pointed out that the last treaty of commerce and navigation between Italy and the United States was concluded in 1871. Consequently, there is a need for modernization of the arrangements under which trade between the two countries can be carried on. In the near future the United States Government would like to submit for the consideration of the Italian Government, through our Mission in Rome, a proposed text of a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation. Mr. Campilli replied that the Italian Government would welcome an opportunity to negotiate such a treaty, especially since it appears [Page 854] that trade with the United States will constitute such a large proportion of Italy’s total trade in the future.1

Mr. Thorp stated that he wished to take this opportunity to call to the attention of the Italian Government the provisions of the proposed ITO charter dealing with international cartels and combines. Mr. Campilli replied that the Italian Government opposed restrictive national business practices, especially in view of its dependence on foreign sources for its raw materials. Mr. Thorp stated that he would also like to take the occasion of the present discussion of commercial policy matters to inquire of the Italian Government as to its plans for the Italian Technical Delegation presently procuring supplies in the United States. Mr. Campilli replied that the Italian Government was in complete agreement with the desire of the United States Government to return trade between the two countries to private channels at the earliest possible opportunity and that he expected the procurement activities of the Italian Technical Delegation to be gradually reduced and eventually eliminated.

  1. A new treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between the United States and Italy was signed at Rome, February 2, 1948; for text, see Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 1965.