University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

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

Switzerland,   pp. 565-582 PDF (6.6 MB)

Page 573

   As soon as I have received a reply to my note of October 12, I will
repeat the contents of the reply to the Department for its considera-
  Respectfully yours,                          LmAND HARRISON
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Harrison)
No. 80                          WASHINGTON, November 11, 1937.
  Sm: Reference is made to the Legation's despatch No. 5052 of July
21, 1937, and to previous correspondence with regard to the four
percent tax on customs receipts levied by the Swiss Government.
  The Department has noted the view expressed by the Legation in
the despatch under reference, that it would not be desirable to press
further upon the Swiss Government the Department's opinion that
the tax cannot properly be collected upon articles included in Section
A of Schedule I of the reciprocal trade agreement. The Department
has given careful consideration to the factors mentioned in this con-
nection -in the Legation's despatch. In view of Mr. Stucki's assurances
that there will be no increased imposition of the tax; the relationship
of the tax to the Swiss budgetary necessities; and the fact that there
has been no continued complaint from American firms with regard
to the tax; the Department shares the Legation's reluctance to press
the matter further.
  The Department maintains its position, however, that collection of
the tax upon the articles in question is in direct contravention of the
trade agreement. From a legal standpoint the Department does not
consider that it can properly acquiesce in a modification of the terms
of a trade agreement relating to the treatment of American trade by
the other Government.
  The Department understands, however, that the Swiss tax on cus-
toms receipts is due to expire at the end of the present calendar year,
and if this is so, the question will automatically be resolved at that
time, provided the tax is not further continued without exemption for
the products included in Section A of Schedule I of the trade agree-
ment. This would appear to provide a solution to the question with-
out embarrassment to the Swiss Government.
  Since the Legation, by its note of March 25, 1937,11a has set forth
clearly the view of this Government that the tax, when imposed upon
the articles in question, is in conflict with the agreement, in refutation
of the views on the subject expressed in the communication of Sep-
" Not printed.

Go up to Top of Page