Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs ( Thorp ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Lovett )
Subject: Proposed Elimination of Trade Barriers between the United States and Canada
I mentioned to you several weeks ago that technicians of this Department and the Canadian Government have been exploring the possibilities of developing a treaty or agreement for the removal of tariff and other trade barriers between the United States and Canada. As a leak would kill the plan, the U.S. group working on it has been kept small and limited to this Department; the Canadian group has been restricted to a few high level officials.
The Canadians consider the proposal, if implemented, to be one of the most momentous decisions in their history. Prime Minister Mackenzie King was consulted and has authorized the attempt to develop a specific plan.
The attached memorandum outlines a plan believed to be the most promising of many that have been considered. The Canadians are ready to take it to the Prime Minister. Before they do so we should be certain that it is the considered judgment of the Department that the plan offers a sound basis for negotiation.
The attached memorandum also covers the matter of timing and obtaining bi-partisan support, which is essential. In spite of the difficulty of negotiating in an election year we should give very careful consideration to the proposal. The present may offer a unique opportunity of promoting the most efficient utilization of the resources of the North American Continent and knitting the two countries together—an objective of United States foreign policy since the founding of the Republic.[Page 407]
- Presumably John Foster Dulles.↩