The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Argentina (White)
Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 1512 of January 28, and to its telegram No. 13, dated February 5, 10 a.m., in regard to the Argentine tariff measures favoring birch ply-wood from Finland and South American white pine lumber.
You are informed that no further representations concerning these matters should be made at this time. Articles 3 and 4 of the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between the United States and Argentina are interpreted by the Department as being conditional in character. Consequently, concessions made by Argentina to Finland, in return for concessions granted by the latter, cannot be claimed by the United States under the terms of the aforementioned treaty unless this Government is prepared to offer concessions equivalent to those accorded by Finland.
On the other hand, the concessions granted by Argentina to South American white pine lumber are of a unilateral character and hence could be claimed by the United States on behalf of American pine lumber as a matter of treaty right under the pertinent provisions of the Treaty of 1853, except for the fact that this Government feels that it is prevented from insisting on this right as long as it is obliged to take into consideration Paragraph 401 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which provides for concessions to lumber originating in contiguous North American countries.
Nevertheless, although the Department considers that it cannot enter a claim for similar treatment under the Treaty of 1853, it is not impressed by the statements embodied in the memorandum of the Argentine Foreign Office, a copy of which accompanies your despatch No. 1512. If, therefore, you are led to believe that the South American white pine lumber competes closely in Argentina with the North American product and is used for similar purposes, you are authorized to discuss orally with the appropriate authorities the apparent weakness of the arguments based on the Argentina Tarifa de Avalúos which are set forth in the memorandum in question.[Page 388]
The most satisfactory ultimate solution of these questions, and of similar ones which may arise, would be the conclusion of an unconditional most-favored-nation treaty to supplant the Treaty of July 27, 1853. The Embassy should, therefore, continue to follow closely the developments in Argentina’s commercial policy in order that this Government may avail itself of the first favorable opportunity to propose negotiations for such a treaty.
A departmental memorandum on this subject is enclosed for your information.13
Very truly yours,
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