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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
(1937)

Norway,   pp. 517-524 PDF (2.7 MB)


Page 522


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 19937, VOLUME II
nomic policies in the world, namely, the policy of equality of treat-
ment characterized by the American trade agreements program and
the policy of narrow bilateralism characterized by preferential ar-
rangements and compensation agreements. The first, it is believed
by thisGovernment, is the necessary basis for peace. The second
could only lead ultimately to war. It would seem desirable, there-
fore, for democratic countries animated by a sincere desire to main-
tain peace, to cooperate in the policy of commercial equality. In
this connection it was brought out in general conversation that the
United States has already concluded trade agreements with four of
the signatories of the Oslo Convention,8 namely, Finland, Sweden,
Belgium, and the Netherlands, and Mr. Sayre stated that this Govern-
ment would be very glad to have Norway also included in this group.
  Mr. Sayre then went on to say that active discussions were being
pursued with regard to the possibility of a trade agreement with the
United Kingdom 9 and that this Government hoped that it would be
possible to conclude such an agreement. Dr. Koht interjected that, of
course, his Government was aware of these discussions and believed
that if a trade agreement with the United Kingdom proved to be the
result, it would be a good thing for the world.
  Dr. Koht then inquired as to the procedure under which trade agree-
nents were negotiated. Mr. Sayre explained to the Minister the pro-
cedure of preliminary discussions, public notice and hearings, and the
negotiations as such, and then referred once more to the belief of this
Government that an economic basis for a broad trade agreement exists.
Mr. Sayre then showed to Dr. Koht and Mr. Morgenstierne the "List
of Commodities of which Norway was the Principal Supplier of
Imports", prepared by the Tariff Commission, and indicated that the
items on this list, which accounted for 61% of the total imports into
the United States from Norway in 1936, appeared to provide a good
basis for an agreement. Dr. Koht evinced considerable interest in this
list and indicated that while, of course, he could not make any com-
mitment to enter into trade agreement discussions, it was his intention
to take up the subject with his colleagues in the Government imme-
diately upon his return to Norway. He stated that he thought it
might be possible for the Norwegian Government to be prepared fairly
soon to enter into preliminary discussions.
  Before the conversation closed Mr. Morgenstierne mentioned the
anti-dumping duties levied on Norwegian matches and asked if it
might be possible to consider such questions in trade agreement nego-
tiations. Mr. Sayre replied that under certain conditions of fact the
Treasury was required by law to impose anti-dumping duties, and that
such questions could not be considered during trade agreement negoti-
  'Signed December 22, 1930, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. CXXVI,
p. 341.
  -9 See pp. 1 if.
522


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