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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 89

lading for these $12.50 of groceries was a customs receipt for 0 159.80.
At the current rate of exchange of 04.50 to $1, this is a duty of $35.50
on the $12.50 shipment.
  The President and Foreign Minister Pacheco agreed with me that
this duty is so high that the purchase of American canned goods im-
ported into Costa Rica is beyond the means of the ordinary consumer.
They also agreed that such an excessive tariff on non-competitive
articles defeated the fundamental purpose of the tax because it
restricted consumption.
  In my conversations I also suggested that perhaps the United
States Government might desire certain concessions on textiles which
are imported in large quantities from the United States.
  The President and the Foreign Minister both expressed a willing-
ness to grant the United States reciprocal advantages in return for the
continued assurance of a free of duty market for Costa Rican coffee
and bananas. The Costa Rican Government, I should add, is ex-
tremely desirous of a perpetuation of this satisfactory arrangement
from their standpoint, not only because of the immediate market pos-
sibilities but also because there prevails in this country a general desire
to greatly increase markets in the United States for Costa Rican coffee.
and it is the belief of Government officials that if and when the pro-
posed Inter-American Highway is completed, large undeveloped areas
will be made available for coffee which, it is hoped, can be sold in the
markets of the United States.
  At the moment, neither official was in a position to suggest whether
they desired additional tariff favors from the United States, but I was
told that the matter would be discussed with Finance Minister Brenes
and if there was anything else that he was interested in aside from
equal courtesies with other nations on the importation of Costa Rican
manufactured liquors, I would be so notified.
  For the information of the Department, I am attaching herewith
memoranda prepared for me, at my request, by Vice Consul Livingston
Satterthwaite,8 in charge of the American Consulate in San Jose, with
reference to duties on principal American imports. There are on file
in the Department at present, detailed reports from the Consulate
showing dollar values of American imports by Costa Rica which will
be helpful to the Department in preparing, for my guidance, a state-
ment "regarding the concessions which would probably be requested
by the United States".
   If the State Department desires that I carry on with these conversa-
 tions with a view of actual conclusion of a treaty, may I repeat my
 request in my telegram of December 18, 1933, that I be supplied with
 such textual data as the Department wishes incorporated in the treaty.
   Respectfully yours,                                LEO R. SACK
   8 Not printed.

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