Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary: For the reason that the Congress of the United States of Mexico passed a law on the 12th of December, 1883, whereby certain reductions in import duties were granted to foreign goods imported into Mexico in Mexican vessels, and since there was no commercial treaty in force between our two countries that provided otherwise, the Secretary of the. United States Treasury decided, on the 24th of May, 1889, by circular 9402, that, in pursuance of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, a discriminating duty of 10 per cent ad valorem, in addition to the import duties paid by goods imported in vessels of the United States of America, should be levied upon Mexican goods imported in Mexican vessels.

For the same reason, the Secretary of the Treasury also decided that, instead of the 3 cents per ton which, according to article 11—marked—14, of the act of June 19, 1886, Mexican vessels entering United States ports were required to pay, $1 per ton should be collected from them.

The Congress of the United States of Mexico, desiring to place foreign vessels on the same footing with Mexican, vessels as regards the payment of import duties, has repealed articles 1 and 2 of the act of December 12, 1883, which provided for those reductions, and it has to [Page 398] that end passed another act, which was approved December 14, 1893, a copy of which I inclose.

The cause having been removed which led to the imposition, in the United States of America, of duties which discriminated against Mexican vessels, it is proper to enforce the provisions of section 4228 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which provides that when satisfactory evidence is furnished to the President that the imposition of discriminating duties upon United States vessels, and upon goods imported in the same, has been suspended by any nation, the President of the United States of America may issue his proclamation declaring that the foreign discriminating duties of tonnage and impost within the United States are suspended and discontinued, so far as respects the vessels of such foreign nation, and the produce, manufactures, or merchandise imported into the United States from such foreign nation, etc.

The Government of Mexico has consequently instructed me to notify that of the United States that the act of the 14th instant is now in force, and to state that the Mexican Government therefore trusts that that of the United States will order, in behalf of Mexican vessels, and of goods imported by them into the ports of the United States, the suspension of the provisions of the circular of the Treasury Department dated May 27, 1889, which was issued in pursuance of section 2502 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and which is still in force, and that it will likewise order the discontinuance of the discriminating tonnage dues.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

M. Romero.