25. Circular Airgram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain1
- Spanish Relations with the European Economic Community
[Here follow Parts 1–3. Part 1 summarized Spanish representations in Washington and noted that on May 16 the Spanish Ambassador had discussed the question with Under Secretary Ball. Part 2 reviewed the U.S. position on association with the EEC, stressing that the United States opposed discriminatory trading blocs that were primarily economic without compensating political advantages. Part 3 reviewed the course of EEC-Spanish talks since Spain applied for membership in 1962.]
4. U.S. Policy on Spain and the Common Market
If Spain determines to renew its “candidacy for Europe” and is not quickly rebuffed by the EEC, it is likely that the United States will be under continuing Spanish pressure to support the Spanish application, and that the Spanish Government will act in the knowledge of the important U.S. military and space interests in Spain. While of course showing interest in Spain’s economic problems, U.S. officials should nevertheless remain entirely noncommittal on relations with the EEC and should particularly avoid any suggestion that the United States might be able to intervene on Spain’s behalf with the Common Market.
It is highly doubtful that United States support of Spain would be helpful in overcoming the forces in Europe which still appear to be strong enough to prevent Spanish association. Moreover, Spanish and possible German initiatives to revive the question are not timely since they will undoubtedly complicate the existing problems of European integration, thus coming into conflict with our over-all policy objectives in Europe.
Any association between the EEC and Spain that might emerge under present circumstances is most likely to be a non-MFN commercial arrangement. Such a relationship would be contrary to our trade policy and inimical to the commercial interests of the United States and other third countries.
An agreement involving preferences in favor of Spanish products over competing Mediterranean products, e.g. citrus fruits, would be economically [Page 56] damaging to other Mediterranean countries and would intensify pressure for similar associations with the EEC. We also have in mind that other third countries have tried to induce the United States to intervene on their behalf for preferential trade arrangements. We have consistently refused to accede to these requests. In fact, we have energetically opposed Nigerian association and continue to do so.
Current U.S. policy on Spain is that “in the long term the U.S. looks to the development of a stable and popularly-backed system of government in post-Franco Spain and its full integration into the broad European and Western Community—politically, economically, and militarily.”
Circular Telegrams 1906 of April 10, 1964 and 1975 of April 23, 1964,2 provided guidance for commenting on Spanish relations with the EEC. Briefly, these messages defined our position as follows: (a) We find it difficult to endorse arrangements involving discrimination against the U.S. and other third countries by a broadening of the Common Market preferential area. (b) The continued development of the Spanish economy is of great interest to us, but the Kennedy Round offers the best opportunity for Spain and other countries to reduce the adverse trade effects of the EEC. (c) We support increased Spanish participation in European and other multilateral organizations such as the OECD where Spain is already able to play an active role.
This policy remains unaltered. However, in view of the nature of the Under Secretary’s response to the Spanish Ambassador in connection with Spanish ties with the EEC, U.S. officials should, as noted previously, observe a noncommittal position and for the present not convey point (a) above.