Volume #27 - 142.|
UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE
TARIFF CONFERENCE (DILLON ROUND)
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 232-60|
July 12, 1960|
GATT 1960-61 TARIFF CONFERENCE
The fifth round of multilateral tariff negotiations to be held under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will open in Geneva on September 1, 1960. This Conference has been planned as a major part of a GATT programme for the expansion of international trade and will include a general round of negotiations for new concessions, negotiations with countries acceding to the GATT (Cambodia, Israel, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Spain, and Tunisia), and re-negotiations with countries wishing to modify existing concessions. A number of countries have also indicated that they may be negotiating with Poland on the basis of exchanging tariff concessions against commitments to purchase. The first four months of the Conference will be devoted to important re-negotiations with the European Common Market countries related to the establishment of their common external tariff. It is expected that the entire Conference will last about a year.
The intention of Canada to participate in this Conference was announced last October. Since that time Ministers have been receiving representations from various groups concerning possible alterations in the Canadian tariff and concessions which should be sought in the tariffs of other countries. On the basis of these representations and in the light of all the relevant considerations, the departments concerned are at present engaged in drawing up for consideration lists of concessions which the Delegation should seek of other countries and of adjustments in the Canadian tariff which might be appropriate.
Ministers will be aware that these tariff negotiations will be of great importance for the future of Canadian trade since the future structure of Canadian commercial relations with Europe will be affected by their outcome. It is essential, therefore, to ensure that Canada is represented by a strong delegation which will be able to protect Canadian interests and win the maximum in new concessions. The appointment of Mr. H.B. McKinnon as Chairman of the Delegation has already been approved by Ministers. It is at present envisaged that some senior officials, who would be able to give policy guidance, would from time to time be designated by their respective Ministers to attend the Conference for such periods as might be necessary. These officials would include the following:
Mr. A.F.W. Plumptre, Asst. Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Chairman
Mr. S.S. Reisman, Dept. of Finance, Deputy Chairman
Mr. J.H. Warren, Asst. Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, Deputy Chairman.
Mr. O.C. Stoner, Dept. of External Affairs
Mr. C.A. Annis, Dept. of Finance
Mr. R.E. Latimer, Dept. of Trade and Commerce.
In addition, it is expected that some six officers and four administrative and stenographic staff from the Departments of Trade and Commerce, Finance, Agriculture and National Revenue would attend the conference on a continuing basis. The Secretary of the Delegation will be drawn from the Department of External Affairs. The Delegation would be assisted by the First Secretary at the Canadian Permanent Mission, who is responsible for GATT matters in Geneva.
Although it is possible that representatives of Canadian industries will be present in Geneva, it is recommended that they should not have any official status on the Delegation.
I wish to recommend, with the concurrence of the Ministers of Finance and Trade and Commerce:
(i) that the foregoing arrangements for staffing the Delegations be approved;
(ii) that, under the direction of the Chairman, the Delegation and other officials concerned proceed with the preparatory work for the Tariff Conference;
(iii) that at a later date appropriate instructions should be sought.118
118Approuvé par le Cabinet le 11 août 1960./Approved by Cabinet on August 11, 1960.