394.31/1–752: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 2


3285. For Batt3 from Thorp.

Questions raised by urtel 2994 Jan 74 are so general it is difficult reply adequately by cable. Will be glad supplement brief comments below by more info on any specific issue.
For short run, US policy clear. We will try maintain GATT as vigorous, effective mechanism. Among other things, we will continue support use of GATT as organ for settlement international trade disputes, will support meaningful review of discriminatory QR’s next spring as provided in GATT, and will continue encourage use of intersessional machinery to augment GATT’s effectiveness. At home, we will push vigorously for measures necessary to maintain present trade policy, including repeal cheese import restrictions and passage Customs Simplification Act.
For longer run, difficult state US policy with same preciseness. Present provisional application GATT principles unsatisfactory not alone to US but to other countries as well. Obvious we must find some means achieve greater stability and continuity of policy, greater harmony between legislative action and executive policy than now exists. Cannot expect make much progress on these [Page 115] longer-run objectives in months just ahead, but clearly must move in that direction before very long.
Hope to define longer-run objectives more clearly in early future and will keep you informed.
  1. Drafted by Deputy Director of the Office of Economic and Trade Policy Vernon and cleared by Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Thorp.
  2. William L. Batt, Chief of the Mutual Security Agency Mission in the United Kingdom. The Agency assumed the function of the Economic Cooperation Administration on Dec. 30, 1951.
  3. In telegram 2994 from London, Batt reported that in his discussions with British officials he needed to have a clearer understanding of U.S. trade policy matters, particularly the U.S. Government’s future intentions with respect to the General Agreement for Tariffs and Trade (GATT). (394.31/1–752) The General Agreement was signed at Geneva, Oct. 30, 1947, and entered into force for the United States Jan. 1, 1948; for text, see 61 Stat. (pts. 5 and 6). For documentation surrounding the events leading to the Agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. i, pp. 9091025.