Memorandum by the Chief of the Treaty Division (Barnes)

Mr. Boström called on Mr. Barnes in pursuance of an understanding between him and the Secretary of State that he keep in touch with Mr. Barnes with reference to ascertaining when the Department would be in a position to begin conversations with him for the negotiation of a reciprocity treaty between the United States and Sweden.

Mr. Boström stated that he was authorized by his Government to begin conversations. He stated that about 70 per cent, of the Swedish imports into the United States were wood pulp and newsprint, which were on the free list; and that there were a few articles the chief of which as he recalled impromptu were matches and certain manufactures of steel imported from Sweden on which the duties are high. He stated that his Government would probably ask for continuation of wood pulp and newsprint on the free list and for reductions in the duties on matches and certain steel manufactures.

The Minister also stated, on the other hand, that the rates of the [Page 722]Swedish tariff with very few exceptions are low and that there was little which Sweden could accord the United States in the way of reductions of import duties. The Minister referred to the fact that the flour-mixing regulations in force in Sweden under which millers are required to use a certain percentage of native wheat in all flour had been mentioned by Mr. Barnes in a conversation with Mr. Weidel, Commercial Counselor of the Swedish Legation, several weeks previously, and the Minister stated that he was confident that his Government would be unable to agree to any change in these milling regulations which contemplated an increase in importations of wheat.

The Minister stated that primarily his Government would desire an assurance that there would be no increase in import duties on Swedish products under the National Recovery Act4 in the United States. He stated that an assurance on this point would be a condition precedent to beginning negotiations. The Minister said that he had mentioned the last point to the Secretary of State about a week previously and that the Secretary informed him that consideration would be given to harmonizing the proposed reciprocity negotiations with the execution of the National Recovery Act.

Charles M. Barnes
  1. 48 Stat. 195.