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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. Europe, Near East and Africa

Lithuania,   pp. 620-626 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 620

  The Charge' in Lithuania (Stafford) to the Secretary of State
No. 60                                    KAUNAS, April 27,1934.
                                              [Received May 15.]
  SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a memorandum pre-
pared by Mr. Basil F. Macgowan, clerk in the Consulate, of a con-
versation relating to Lithuanian trade practices and restrictions
which he had with Mr. Bronius Garsva, of the Ministry of Finance.
It is of interest as revealing the Government's policy of attempting
to balance the trade with individual countries and of encouraging im-
portation from those which are important buyers of its own products,
to the detriment of less important customers.
  American purchases in this country are not sufficiently large to
induce a change in policy to the disadvantage of European countries,
particularly Great Britain, and in matters of this kind it does not
appear probable that the Government would take into consideration
the important invisible exports from the United States in the form
of remittances and pensions. Nor could the fact that the balance of
trade was in favor of Lithuania in 1933 and continues so be expected
to constitute a determining factor, simply by reason of the com-
paratively small volume of the trade exchange.
  Therefore as conditions do not appear to warrant any system of
government guarantee, individual American firms might find it
profitable to consider the policy of marketing Lithuanian products in
return for orders placed here. I refer especially to firms interested
in government purchases of equipment and supplies.
  Charges of discrimination of American goods made by certain local
merchants are more general than specific. In fact, the only actual
complaint to the Consulate is that made by the local agent of the
Chevrolet automobile who reported that his bid for certain cars for the
use of a government department, although lower, was not accepted
and the order was placed with the British firm manufacturing the
Morris car. He was asked for data upon which an investigation
might be conducted but neglected to supply them.

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