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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 88

The Minister in Costa Rica (Sack) to the Acting Secretary of State
No. 93                                  SAN JosL, January 17, 1934.
                                            [Received January 24.]
  SIR: With reference to Instruction No. 10 of January 4, 1934, in
reply to my telegram No. 36 of December 18, 3 p. m. (1933), concern-
ing the desire of the Costa Rican Government to negotiate a new com-
xnercial treaty with the United States, I have the honor to report:
  On yesterday I discussed this matter further at a conference jointly
with President Ricardo Jimenez and Foreign Minister Leonidas
Pacheco in the office of the President. I explained to both officials that
while the United States was willing to give sympathetic consideration
to their suggestion for a new treaty, that in view of the fact that the
exportation of Costa Rican coffee and bananas to the United States
furnishes such a tremendous factor in the total of Costa Rican foreign
trade, that the United States sought concessions with reference to
American products imported by this country.
  I pointed out also that the United States would desire that the pro-
posed treaty contain a provision for unconditional and unrestricted
most favored nation treatment; likewise provision against quantita-
tive restriction on imports of products respecting which tariff conces-
sions are granted by each party under the agreement; provision against
increased internal taxes on such products, and national treatment in
respect to internal taxes on all products.
  In the absence of specific instructions from the State Department, I
was unable, at their request, to say definitely upon what American
products my Government would desire concessions, but I called their
attention to the situation now prevailing with reference to the importa-
tion of American food products, particularly flour, fats and canned
groceries. These are not luxury articles and neither are they competi-
tive with Costa Rican products.
  The majority of such foodstuffs imported by Costa Rica come from
the United States, but the duties are so high that the prices are almost
prohibitive, particularly with reference to vegetable and meat fats and
canned foodstuffs.
  In connection with the duty on canned foodstuffs, I called the Presi-
dent's attention to a personal observation I made during the present
week. On the 9th of January, I received from the United States Navy
Commissary Store at the Canal Zone, three small cases of canned food-
stuffs which cost $12.50. As the Department is aware, diplomatic offi-
cers in Costa Rica are permitted to receive their personal shipments
without payment of duty. It is a custom, however, to return with the
bill of lading a cancelled customs receipt. Attached to the bill of

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