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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Czechoslovakia,   pp. 238-258 PDF (7.3 MB)

Page 254

  Minister Friedmann reiterated his statement that a general sup-
pression of import permit and quantitative restrictions (which lhe re-
gards as together constituting a single method of quantitative limita-
tion) is impossible since 67 percent of Czechoslovakia's export trade
goes to countries which regulate their foreign trade through that
control system. Nevertheless, and subsequently adhering to this prin-
ciple, Czechoslovakia is in sympathy with your policy and anxious to
do all in its power to moderate and remove trade barriers and hence
it would be willing to inspect and study the problem of suppressing
import permit requirements and quantitative restrictions on individ-
ual items in the light of three important and inter-related factors:
  1. The degree to which removal of such restrictions would affect
the "life interests" of Czechoslovakia.
  2. The amount of pressure which the United States would exert
on Czechoslovakia to obtain duty concessions on those specific
items which might also come into consideration in connection with
the removal of import permit requirements and the suppression of
quantitative restrictions and,
  3. The degree to which Czechoslovakia's denmands of the United
States are complied with particularly concessions which might be
made in connection with the problem of Danubian preference.
  This seems to indicate slight favorable change in position thouglh
the conditions mentioned may make it of little value. It is of utmost
importance in my opinion to convince the delegation that they are not
engaged in horse trading such as is practiced in Europe.
  Specific mention of Swiss and Netherlands agreements without
suppression of quantitative restrictions implies that the Minister be-
lieves that Czechoslovakia is being requested to make a concession
not exacted of other European governments. Suggest delegation's
minds be fully disabused of this idea.
  Friedmann voluntarily made a long exposition of central European
policy and necessity of promoting economic welfare of central Euro-
pean and Danubian area. I pointed out that we recognized that situa-
tion in according limited Danubian preferences in modus vivendi and
considering them in present negotiations. He expressed apprecia-
tion and said inclusion of certain Danubian preferences in the new
agreement would set an admirable example to other powers and
that benefits would be not only economic but pacific. Belief is that
this question is regarded here as politically important.
  Throughout my conversations I have made it clear that all negotia-
tions are conducted in Washington and that my function is merely
to help to maintain clear understanding between the Department and
the authorities here.

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