Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
Soon after I was called to the administration of the Government I found it important to come to an understanding with the Court of London on several points interesting to the United States, and particularly to know whether they were disposed to enter into arrangements by mutual consent which might fix the commerce between the two nations on principles of reciprocal advantage. For this purpose I authorized informal conferences with their ministers, and from these I do not infer any disposition on their part to enter into any arrangements merely commercial. I have thought it proper to give you this information, as it might at some time have influence on matters under your consideration.
George Washington, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/200568