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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

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

Page 572

1937,16 from Mr. Charles R. Weaver of the Automobile Manufacturers
Association, of Washington, D. C., concerning alleged inequality of
treatment on the part of the, Swiss Government in the matter of auto-
mobile imports in bond.
   In compliance with the Department's instruction, the Legation has
investigated this matter and ascertained that discrimination does, in
fact, exist in the treatment of automobiles shipped to Switzerland
for uncertain sale. According to a communication dated October 8
from the Inspector General of Customs (copy and translation en-
closed) ," automobiles shipped from certain countries, on consignment
to dealers in Switzerland may be entered under bond, valid for one
year, provided the country of origin grants reciprocal treatment to
Swiss goods. Such reciprocity, the Legation was informed, is ac-
corded by Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, the Netherlands,
Czechoslovakia and Turkey. The Inspector General's letter added
that the entry of automobiles of American origin under similar con-
ditions could not be contemplated unless Swiss merchandise were ac-
corded the same treatment by the American customs authorities.
  With regard to applicability of most-favored-nation clause in Ar-
ticle X of the trade agreement between Switzerland and the United
States, it was claimed that this clause had relation only to customs
duties and other customs charges, method of collection of duty, for-
malities and charges levied in connection with customs clearance, and
that the most-favored-nation clause had never been applied to goods
entering temporarily.
  I replied to this communication by addressing an informal note to
Doctor Hotz, Director of the Commercial Division of the Federal
Department of Public Economy, on October 12, in which I called at-
tention to the letter which Mr. Bigelow, Charge d'Affaires, had writ-
ten to him on June 25, 1936, concerning the temporary free entry of
automobile tractors (Legation's despatch No. 4513 of August 8,
1936 17). I stated that I hoped that the considerations set forth in
that letter, irrespective of the interpretation of Article X of the trade
agreement, will be regarded by the Swiss authorities as constituting
substantially such reciprocal treatment as would permit the Swiss
Government to give the same treatment to American automobiles as
to automobiles imported on a consignment basis from France, Ger-
many and certain other countries. A copy of my note to Doctor Hotz
is also enclosed,'7 as well as a copy of the Legation's original inquiry
in this matter, dated September 3, 1937.18
  1 Neither printed.
  17 Not printed.
  ' Not attached to file copy.

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