Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Kelley)

I handed the Finnish Minister two copies of the list of concessions2 which the United States would like to obtain from Finland. I said that the list, which, as he would note, was a comprehensive one, was intended to serve as a basis of discussion, and that it was possible that we might desire to make some slight changes in the course of the negotiations, particularly in connection with further information which might become available with regard to Finnish tariff laws and practice. I explained to him that the list comprised (1) commodities the duty on which we considered to be unduly high or prohibitive and desired to have reduced, and (2) commodities the duty on which we considered not to be inequitable and desired to have bound. I pointed out that in the case of some commodities the duties had already been bound by Finland in agreements with other countries, but in view of their importance to American trade we desired to have them bound in an agreement with the United States.

In handing the Minister copies of the specimen general provisions,2 I explained that these were the general provisions which we were incorporating in our trade agreements, and that they were designed to secure equality of treatment and opportunity for American trade. They were comprehensive because they were designed to protect our trade against every type of discrimination, and, as the Minister was aware, the types of discrimination were numerous and complicated. I pointed out that in many cases the provisions were not of practical importance at the present time as far as Finland was concerned, since Finland did not have contingents, exchange restrictions, etc. I stated that there was one situation, however, which we would want to examine very carefully, and that was the situation created by certain obligations assumed by Finland toward Great Britain.3

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I said that I hoped that the Minister would be able to advise us at an early date of the tariff concessions desired by his Government, since we would like to have the negotiations brought to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.

The Minister said that he felt that his Government was probably prepared as concerns the concessions desired by Finland, but the list had not yet been forwarded to him. He said he understood that there was a fast boat to Finland leaving tomorrow and he would forward on that boat the list of concessions which we desired and the copies of the general provisions.

Robert F. Kelley
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For text of the Anglo-Finnish Commercial Agreement, signed at Helsinki on September 29, 1933, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cxlix, p. 167.