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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. The American Republics

Costa Rica,   pp. 86-92 PDF (2.3 MB)

Page 87

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Costa Rica (Sack)
No. 10                              WASHINGTON, January 4, 1934.
  SIR: Reference is made to your telegram No. 36, December 18,
3: 00 p. m., regarding the desire of the Costa Rican Government to
negotiate a new commercial treaty with the United States.
  Before negotiations are undertaken the basis of the proposed trade
agreement should be further explored. You should therefore take
up the matter informally with the Foreign Minister and ascertain
more specifically the character of the agreement which he has in
mind. Over eighty percent of Costa Rica's exports to the United
States consist of coffee and bananas. In the proposed agreement,
therefore, the United States might undertake that these products
should continue to be admitted free of duty in return for reductions
in duties by Costa Rica on important products of the United States.
It is possible that in the course of the exploratory conversations Costa
Rica may wish to bring to the attention of the United States other
products in addition to bananas, and coffee, on which concessions would
be desired. While sympathetic consideration would be given to any
such proposals, it is believed that in view of the importance of coffee
and bananas in Costa Rica's trade with the United States a guaranty
of continued free entry of these products would be equivalent in value
to concessions by Costa Rica on the principal products imported from
the United States.
  The trade agreement might also contain a provision for uncondi-
tional and unrestricted most favored nation treatment, subject to the
usual exception regarding Cuba, and other generally recognized ex-
ceptions; provision against quantitative restrictions (quotas) on im-
ports of products respecting which tariff concessions are granted by
each party under the agreement; provision against increased internal
taxes on such products; and national treatment with respect to in-
ternal taxes on all products.
  If the Foreign Minister is prepared to begin exploratory conversa-
tions along the lines above indicated, the Department will send you as
soon as possible a statement regarding the concessions which would
probably be requested by the United States.
  You should make it clear that the intention of this Government is
solely to explore the situation with a view to determining whether nego-
tiations if undertaken would be likely to meet with success.
  Very truly yours,             For the Acting Secretary of State:
                                                 FRANcIs B. SAYIE

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