693.003/861: Telegram

The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

875. My telegram No. 864, December 8, 5 p.m.

I received yesterday from Minister for Foreign Affairs single copy of new tariff schedules.
After preliminary examination commercial attaché submits the following notes thereon:
  • “(1) It is patent that American trade must carry the heaviest burden of the increased tariff.
  • (2) The revised valuations as agreed upon by the Chinese convention tariff revision commission in July, 1928, were disregarded in the drafting of the new tariff.
  • (3) The new tariff is based upon the valuations as set forth in the import tariff of 1922.
  • (4) The schedules as agreed upon by the American, British and Japanese delegations at the Peking conference, 1926, are substantially the basis of the new tariff.
  • (5) Kerosene, gasoline, cigarettes and leaf tobacco are the most important items which are assessed duties at variance with those of the schedule mentioned in item 4 above.
  • Under the new system tariff kerosene will probably be about thirty-one percent, gasoline twenty-one percent, cigarettes forty percent and leaf tobacco ten percent; instead of twelve and a half percent for kerosene and gasoline, cigarettes twenty-seven and a half percent and leaf tobacco twenty-two and a half percent.
  • (6) Under the new tariff, raisins, an important item in American trade, is assessed at twelve and a half percent on a value now more than one hundred percent above the actual market or about thirty percent on actual present-day market. In the 1928 tariff revision coding it was agreed to put this item on an open ad valorem basis.
  • (7) It means that the tariff stipulates a twelve and a half percent duty on motor buses completed with a minimum seating capacity of twelve persons and for complete motor trucks, while all other motor vehicles or accessories are taxed twenty-two and a half percent as importing of chassis and assembling in China is penalized, thereby working a hardship on American trade.
  • (8) It is patent that Japanese trade is on the whole favored and American trade burdened by the schedules as set forth in the new tariff.”
Repeated to Shanghai.
  1. Telegram in two sections.