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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. Europe, Near East and Africa

Netherlands,   pp. 627-641 PDF (5.6 MB)

Page 629

  Although negotiations for a trade agreement with the Netherlands
are therefore not in immediate prospect, the Department would wel-
come an expression of your views with regard to such an agreement.
An indication of what American commodities would in your opinion
be most likely to benefit substantially from a reduction in the Neth-
erland duties would be particularly valuable.
Very truly yours,                     For the Secretary of State:
                                                FRANCIS B. SAYRE
The Minister in the Netherlands (Emmnet) to the Secretary of State
No. 45                                  THE HAGUE, July 2, 1934.
                                              [Received July 14.]
  SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Depart-
ment's instruction No. 29, of May 24, 1934, enclosing a copy of the
commercial treaty draft recently submitted to the Netherlands Min-
ister in Washington for the consideration of his Government.
  Due note has been taken of the Department's reasons for initiating
the negotiation of this treaty and of the necessity for such a treaty
in case the United States were to grant the request presented by the
Netherlands Minister in Washington to extend to his Government
the benefits of the provision of the Revenue Act of 1932 exempting
from the excise tax upon coal and coke all countries which import more
coal from the United States than they export to the United States.
Such privileges had been extended to Germany and Great Britain on
the basis of most-favored-nation treaties with those countries, and I
observe from the Department's instruction that in claiming equal
treatment the Netherlands Minister implied that the Dutch interest in-
volved was negligible but that the question of most-favored-nation
treatment between the two countries required clarification.
  The Department's instruction states that the Netherlands Minister
in Washington made this claim somewhat later than the claims pre-
sented by Great Britain and Germany, but presumably it was not long
after the passage of the Revenue Act of 1932. Since that time the
economic and commercial policy of the Netherlands has undergone
a complete transformation. That policy had been based primarily
upon the free trade theory, and such restrictions as existed were held
in check by a general observance of most-favored-nation clauses.
Since the failure of the London Monetary and Economic Conference
and the adoption of the British Empire trade agreements, the Nether-
lands has abandoned free trade and has gone in for an aggressive
policy of special trade agreements and restrictive quotas. Extra-
parliamentary powers have been granted to the Government, giving it

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