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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

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)

Page 341

The German Government which has expressed far-reaching ac-
knowledgment of the principles of American trade policy, has re-
peatedly endeavored to place the trade relations between Germany and
the United States upon a new foundation guaranteeing the extension
of their mutual exchange of goods. Following its suggestions of
March 1936,3° and lastly of May 31, 1936,31 the German Government in
its reply '2 to a questionnaire 32 submitted by the American Govern-
ment made constructive proposals to which it has up to now received
no reply. These proposals are still being considered by the German
Government as a basis for negotiations.
  III. With regard to the statement in the Aide-Menoire that a
system to further exports such as the German one interferes with
normal competition it should not be forgotten that international
competition primarily was disturbed by the devaluation of currencies
undertaken by several governments. If, however, it is said in the Aide-
Mimoire that the German Government is in a position to place any
merchandise on markets of third countries on a competitive basis
by discriminate, direct subsidies and thereby to disturb the business of
other countries on these markets, attention is again called to the fol-
lowing facts: The means which are raised through the voluntary
self-aid action of German industry and commerce serve the purpose of
equalizing partially the currency advantage; an advantage which
from the very viewpoint of equality of competitive conditions is un-
justified. It was from this point of view that the self-aid action came
into existence, and in this sense it is applied in practice. In individ-
ual cases the seller of German merchandise may have utilized the
self-aid method, and at the same time the buyer of the merchandise
may have taken an advantage which, for instance, he obtained by
paying with Aski-Marks, upon the quotation of which the German
Government unfortunately has no influence. Through the combina-
tion of these two factors a reduction of the price of the German mer-
chandise may have been brought about which exceeded the currency
advantage of the country of the buyer or that of a third country com-
peting with the German merchandise. The German Government,
however, has endeavored to follow these cases-which unquestionably
are difficult to control-and to take appropriate steps for their imme-
diate discontinuance. In any case, it is the German Government's
earnest concern that the self-aid action of German commerce and
industry retain the character of a contribution to overcome the cur-
  ° See memorandum from the German Embassy, March 30, 1936, Foreign Rela-
tions, 1936, vol. II, p. 222.
  31 Not found in Department files.
  I2 See memorandum from the German Embassy, June 24, 1936, Foreign Rela-
tions, 1936, vol. ii, p. 236.

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