The Minuter in Guatemala ( Hanna ) to the Secretary of State

No. 453

Sir: With reference to previous reports concerning the proposed trade agreement with Guatemala, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a letter which the Minister for Foreign Affairs here addressed to the Minister of Hacienda on November 21, 1934.11 A copy of the letter was given to me informally and in confidence by Dr. Skinner Klee. It appears that the Minister of Hacienda is seeking some plan to restrict imports from countries, such as Japan, with which Guatemala has an unfavorable balance of trade, and has requested the advice of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Dr. Skinner Klee proposes to solve this problem by establishing a differential tariff which will impose a surtax on imports from countries with which Guatemala has an unfavorable balance of trade, the amount of the surtax to be based on a comparison of imports and exports of such countries by semesters.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs seemed to think that there is good prospect for some such solution as this to be adopted. The Executive has ample authority under its extraordinary powers to cover this matter by executive decree.12

Respectfully yours,

Matthew E. Hanna
  1. Not printed.
  2. By telegram No. 4, January 29, 1935, 3 p.m., from the Minister in Guatemala, the Department was informed that an Executive decree had been issued January 26, 1935, increasing import duties 100% on all merchandise from countries whose exports to Guatemala during the calendar year 1934 increased 100% in volume, and stating that its purpose was to conserve the Guatemalan market for countries which purchase Guatemalan products (611.1431/86).