The Consul at Tallinn (Carlson) to the Secretary of State

No. 43

Present Treatment by the Estonian Authorities of American Trade

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In the above report the Tallinn Consulate has endeavored to point out that the decline in the values and volumes of importations of American products into Estonia has been due to (a) the prevailing economic crisis, (b) the Estonian grain protection measures, and (c) the existing import and foreign exchange restrictions.

In respect to the latter situation, from 60% to 70% of the American import trade values are not affected. In remaining 30% to 40% of the importations from the United States, there are a number of commodities such as kerosene, gasoline and rubber tires, with regard to which Estonia is unquestionably making an attempt to direct future transactions therein to Great Britain. As far as these commodities are concerned, direct discrimination against goods produced in the United States in favor of similar goods made in England may be said to exist.

Although particularly evident in respect of the above commodities, discrimination may also be said to exist with respect to all of the goods imported from the United States, except cotton, sulphur and resin. This can be seen in the treatment accorded to the applications presented by Estonian importers for the import licenses and foreign exchange required to bring these goods into Estonia. In the present report it has been shown in a number of places that the Estonian authorities intentionally delay the granting of the above-mentioned licenses and foreign exchange as long as possible with the deliberate end in view of discouraging the importers in question from carrying on further transactions in goods originating in the United States. [Page 131]These same practices are not been [being] followed in regard to goods from certain other countries as, for example, Great Britain.

Finally, the entry into effect of the new foreign trade agreement with Great Britain on September 8, 1934,3 marks the beginning of a new period of Estonia’s foreign trade activities, in which practices are likely to be followed which will contain additional elements of discrimination against importations from third countries, including those from the United States.

  1. Signed July 11, 1934, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. clii, p. 131.