75. Telegram 97 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State1
97. Subject: Visit with President Echeverria: Overall U.S./Mexican Relations. Ref: Mexico 96 (Nodis). For the Secretary from the Ambassador.[Page 253]
1. In reply to my question, President Echeverria said that he was quite satisfied with the overall climate of U.S./Mexican relations, particularly since his successful, cordial meeting with President Ford at Magdalena/Tubac. The enthusiastic reception by the Mexican people demonstrated that, despite occasional differences, there was real affection between us. The talks with President Ford and with Secretary Kissinger had been frank and constructive. He now had some concerns regarding the Trade Reform Act but he had noted President Ford’s comment regretting the restrictions placed on it by the Senate and he was convinced that the Act would be implemented in an equitable and judicious way which should be beneficial to Mexico in the long run. I assured him of our hope to be flexible except in regard to OPEC membership where executive hands seemed to be tied. He reiterated the comment made earlier that Mexico had no intention of joining OPEC which seemed to be political. Mexico would, however, collaborate with OPEC on sales which must be at market prices in order to be fair to the Mexican people, but there would be no political strings attached to Mexican oil sales.
2. He said he himself had had a long history of working with Americans and fully realized the value of such collaboration. While Mexico had to adopt independent attitudes on international as well as domestic problems, such independence gave satisfaction to Mexican public opinion and had brought him political and social peace. Despite this it was possible to work together as he hoped to do on a variety of international matters and, domestically, he welcomed appropriate controlled foreign—and particularly U.S.—investment. It was to make this clear that he was inviting top U.S. business leaders to meet with him on January 18.
3. He had long worked with the U.S. Embassy in various capacities. Our frank exchange today, he said, exemplified his easy relationship with the Embassy and he agreed that he would tell me with equal frankness any time he felt communications between us were inadequate.
Summary: Telling Jova of his satisfaction with the overall state of U.S.-Mexican relations after his meeting with Ford, Echeverría expressed concern about new U.S. trade legislation.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D750004–0783. Confidential; Immediate. In circular telegram 282967 to all diplomatic and consular posts, December 28, 1974, the Department outlined the provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, which denied tariff preferences to members of producer cartels and certain other categories of countries. (Ibid., D740376–0551) In telegram 315 from Mexico City, January 13, the Embassy reported that Rabasa considered the law discriminatory and planned to raise the subject with Kissinger. (Ibid., D750013–0253)↩