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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 273

to permit the completion of these studies, and the Department's regret
that it has not been possible to reply to the Estonian proposals at an
earlier date. The delay in making a reply has been occasioned by
the fact that the Department has been concurrently studying the pos-
sibility of undertaking negotiations with a considerable number of
other countries.
  The Department desires that you convey the following observa-
tions to the Estonian authorities with specific reference to the pro-
posals made by the Estonian Government.
  The Government of the United States shares the desire of the Es-
tonian Government that the trade between the two countries be ex-
panded as much as possible. To that end, it would be willing to enter
into negotiations with Estonia for the reciprocal exchange of com-
mercial concessions in a trade agreement, provided that an under-
standing can be reached prior to the initiation of formal negotia-
tions as to the general treatment which will be accorded in each
country to the commerce of the other. The Department has, there-
fore, authorized you to conduct the necessary discussions with a view
to arriving at such an understanding.
                       GENERAL PROVISIONS
  From the viewpoint of the United States, the most important aspects
of the general treatment to be provided for in a trade agreement would
be those concerned with unconditional most-favored-nation treatment
in customs matters and with the application of the principle of
equality of treatment to quotas, and exchange control. While the
Government of the United States does not consider it necessary that
the exact text of provisions regarding these matters be agreed upon
during preliminary conversations, it does desire that an understand-
ing be reached as to the general basis upon which the negotiations will
proceed and believes that the Estonian Government is probably of the
same view.
  By way of introduction to a discussion of these subjects, you should
point out that the United States at present accords to Estonia all of the
advantages given to the most-favored-nation, the Republic of Cuba
excepted, and that it is the policy of the United States to continue
extending these advantages to Estonia, regardless of whether the pres-
ent treaty continues in force, provided that Estonia accords non-dis-
criminatory treatment to the commerce of the United States. The
rates of duty specified in the fifteen trade agreements, the benefits of
which are extended to Estonia, apply to goods accounting for approxi-
mately 20 percent of total dutiable imports into the United States.
These benefits, coupled with the fact that the United States imposes
no quantitative restrictions upon the admission of Estonian goods nor

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