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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

Estonia,   pp. 259-274 PDF (5.6 MB)

Page 261

lation of its foreign commercial policy. My Government fully under-
stands these considerations and is not insensible of the limitations
that are imposed on Estonia's freedom of action within the sphere of
foreign trade by the commercial policies pursued by countries which
are the principal buyers of Estonian goods.
  As was pointed out in the memorandumI which the American
Charge d'Affaires at Tallinn delivered on September 27, 1935, to the
Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, the American Government is
engaged in a program under the Trade Agreements Act8 looking,
on the one hand, to the reduction of excessive tariff barriers and other
governmental impediments to trade and, on the other hand, to the
progressive elimination of the many discriminatory and arbitrary
practices which divert and obstruct trade. This program is based
upon the principle of equality of opportunity and treatment; a prin-
ciple to which the Estonian Government has declared itself unable
to give full adherence except under conditions which may not soon be
fulfilled. The Estonian Government will doubtless appreciate that
the successful carrying out of my Government's program would be
jeopardized should the American Government agree to any substan-
tial exception in the application of this basic principle, for such an
agreement would necessarily involve tacit approval of the very prac-
tices which the United States is seeking to eliminate. The United
States could not enter into a trade agreement which did not provide
substantial equality of treatment for American trade.
  My Government has noted with sympathetic interest the desire
expressed by the Estonian Government to expand Estonian exports
to the United States and is prepared to afford every facility coin-
patible with its general policies that would contribute to realization
of that desire. The Estonian Government has suggested that this
expansion can be achieved only if the United States is prepared to
offer tariff concessions to Estonian products, and it has expressed its
desires in this connection with regard to certain specific commodities,
  These desires, and the suggestion of the Estonian Government that
certain quotas be established for which reduced tariff rates would
be granted, have been examined with great care by my Government.
I must, however, point out that, as the Estonian Government is aware,
it is my Government's policy to grant concessions in general only to
the principal or an important supplier of a given commodity. On the
basis of information available to my Government, Estonia does not
appear to be the principal or even an important supplier of most of
the articles for which reduced customs duties in the United States
are suggested, and in some instances it does not participate in the:
' Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. ii, p. 190.
'Approved June 12, 1934; 48 Stat. 943.

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