Secretary’s Staff Meetings, lot 53 D 444

Notes of the Secretary’s Staff Meeting, Held in the Department of State, 9:30 a.m., February 14, 1952

SM N–6

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Venezuela.]

Venezuelan Trade Agreement

5. Mr. Miller reported Venezuela’s desire to renegotiate their trade agreement, in order to have a lower duty on petroleum products. He reviewed the trade agreement as it is related to the cancellation of the Mexican trade agreement. ARA feels that it is necessary to go down to 5¼ cents a barrel duty on petroleum products. If this is done by the President, it would disregard the peril point findings of the Tariff Commission. Mr. Miller and Mr. Thorp have had discussions with Mr. Steelman who is sympathetic with our position. The basic problem involved is whether we will have to disregard the Tariff Commission findings and go below the peril point. Mr. Thorp felt that it would help if we got some concessions from Venezuela. Mr. Miller pointed out that some of the oil companies would support our move, but the coal people would generally oppose it. Mr. Thorp noted that we are approaching Defense on this problem.

[Here follows discussion of additional matters unrelated to Venezuela.]