635.113 Lumber/8

The Chargé in Argentina (White) to the Secretary of State

No. 1502

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instructions No. 517 of November 13, 1931, File No. 635.003/1899 directing me to endeavor to obtain removal of the apparent discrimination against American lumber involved in the exemption of South American White Pine from the additional duty of 10% ad-valorem imposed in the Argentine Government’s decree of October 6.

[Page 385]

In my dispatch No. 1463 of December 3 [23], I mentioned that I had taken the matter up with the Foreign Minister. The latter told me that this matter had been referred to an inter-departmental economic commission. Later the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs informed me that he presides over this commission, and that the matter in question is under consideration. He further told me that an expert had been called in with a view to establishing whether South American Pine is a different quality of lumber from the variety proceeding from the United States. This was done for the purpose of harmonizing the exemption with the terms of the Treaty. I expressed to the Under-Secretary that in view of the wide variety of pine species, the designation “South American Pine” is too broad and general to warrant any discrimination on the basis of hemispheres. So far I have had no formal answer to my memorandum.

From the point of view of the interpretation of the Treaty, however, it is gratifying that there should have been this attempt to draw a distinction between the Northern and Southern varieties. The Under-Secretary assures me, as did also the Minister, that there is no intention of setting aside, or re-interpreting the terms of the Treaty. Apparently the discrimination is in favor of Brazil.

Respectfully yours,

J. C. White
  1. File number changed to 635.113 Lumber/3.