611.3831/28: Telegram

The Chargé in Haiti ( Merrell ) to the Secretary of State


76. After having received notification from France that maximum duties would be levied on Haitian products imported into France, Haitian Government and General Receiver of Customs made efforts to discover way to have minimum duties on Haitian products retained. Plan which seems to be acceptable to both parties is to conclude a convention terminating after three years unless it shall be renewed by mutual consent. Such a convention would provide that [Page 412] all the principal Haitian products should enter France with minimum duties applied, and that Haiti should allow a reduction of 33⅓ percent of prospective duties on wines, cognac, pharmaceutical specialties, perfumes, bicycles, and religious objects of French origin. Government of Haiti wishes the foregoing regime to begin on provisional basis with no delay following termination of the present convention on July 27, as expectancy is that by that date the new tariff will have been voted, and even a short period within which maximum duties would be levied on Haitian coffee entering France is undesirable. Tariff preferences indicated above would apply equally to similar products from the United States as soon as modus vivendi comes into effect.

The arrangements with France as outlined above are recommended for Department’s approval by both this Legation and the General Receiver of Customs as they constitute a great improvement over existing regime and as they will expire in three years except with prior approval of Department. If Department perceives any objection to any feature of the plan, please advise me before July 27.