The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Consul at Harbin (Hanson)3

Sir: I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 1885, of January 22, 1929,4 in which you desire to be informed whether or not the treaty regulating tariff relations between the United States and China, of July 25, 1928, annuls and makes inoperative Article V of the Treaty of 1844 between the United States and China5 which [Page 781] states that, upon payment of maritime customs dues, American owned goods, upon importation into or exportation from Chinese treaty ports, shall be exempted from all other charges.

Article I of the new Sino-American Treaty states that all provisions which appear in treaties hitherto concluded and in force between the United States of America and China relating to rates of duty on imports and exports of merchandise, drawbacks, transit dues, and tonnage dues in China, shall be annulled and become inoperative and the principle of complete national tariff autonomy shall be applied, subject, however, to the condition that each of the high contracting parties shall enjoy, in the territories of the other, with respect to the above specified and any related matters, treatment in no way discriminatory as compared with the treatment accorded to any other country. The nationals of neither of the high contracting parties shall be compelled, under any pretext whatever, to pay, within the territories of the other party, any duties, internal charges or taxes, upon their imports or exportations, other or higher than those paid by nationals of the country or by nationals of any other country.

Under these circumstances, it is believed that the only valid grounds for protest against new levies, after the ratification of the treaty takes place, would be in the case of clear discrimination against American goods or American interests in favor either of Chinese goods and/or merchants, or goods or merchants of some other country.

I am [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch No. 1895, January 29; received March 2, 1929.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Miller, Treaties, vol. 4, p. 559.