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Message to the Prime Minister of Canada on International Trade.

October 19, 1962

[Released October 19, 1962. Dated October 18, 1962]

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Thank you for your letter on the occasion of my signature of the Trade Expansion Act. I am pleased to know that the Canadian Government welcomes this most significant development in the trade policy of the United States.

Ever since World War II, Canada and the United States have been partners in a determined search for a non-discriminatory trading world which affords to all countries of the Free World the best opportunities for economic growth and expansion. Your letter makes clear that we continue to share these common objectives, and I am gratified to have your pledge of close cooperation in moving toward a wider acceptance of our convictions.

I would like to take full advantage of the authority which the Trade Expansion Act confers upon me and I am eager to explore with other like-minded nations as soon as possible the problems and prospects for a new approach to the reduction of obstacles to world trade. In this connection the recent discussions in Ottawa between officials of our two Governments have been most useful. I have been thinking that, after some of the preliminary work has been done and a consensus reached among the principal participants, a ministerial meeting early in 1963 of the Contracting Parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade might well be the most suitable way to enlist the participation and support of like-minded nations.

On the basis of your proposal for an international meeting, perhaps we might join forces in recommending a special meeting of the Contracting Parties at the ministerial level, to be held possibly as early as February or March of 1963. I should be interested in your reactions to this suggestion.

I am encouraged by the improvement in Canada's reserve position and welcome the first step you have just taken in the process of removing the special surcharges on imports in response to this improvement. I look forward to your being able to remove the remaining surcharges. This would help us all move forward in our attack on trade barriers.



[The Right Honorable John G. Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa]

Note: Prime Minister Diefenbaker's letter, dated October 11, was released with the President's reply.

John F. Kennedy, Message to the Prime Minister of Canada on International Trade. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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