The Chargé in Argentina (Cox) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 28.]
Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 1248 of June 26, 1936,42 dealing with the probable effects of the new Argentine exchange regulations on American trade, I have the honor to submit further current information on this subject.
Immediately after the Embassy informed the United States Chamber of Commerce in the Argentine Republic that, as stated in the [Page 214] Finance Minister’s note to the Ambassador of June 16,43 official exchange would hereafter be granted to cover Argentine imports on some fifty classifications of American merchandise, a special meeting of the Board of Directors of that body was called in order to discuss these new regulations. It was suggested at this meeting that the members of the Chamber handling the various categories of merchandise affected by the new regulations should submit to it their views on the probable effect of these measures on American trade. With the material so compiled the Chamber would then prepare an exhaustive study of the subject as a whole. This plan was subsequently abandoned and in its stead it was decided that such members should advise the Chamber as to the action of the Exchange Control Board on their requests for official exchange.
As reported to me by the Chamber of Commerce, with one exception since June official exchange has been granted for all requests covering imports from the United States in these fifty classifications of merchandise listed in the Minister’s note. This exception is automobile trucks. When the exchange regulations first came into effect one automobile dealer immediately applied for official exchange to cover an importation of automobile truck chassis, the usual form in which such vehicles are imported. This request was granted but subsequent to this time this dealer as well as other representatives of American automobile companies have been met with refusal in their applications for official exchange although they were informed that such exchange would be granted to cover trucks imported in a finished state.
As anticipated, the representatives of American radio and radio tube concerns have been particularly benefited by the new exchange regulations and are now importing considerable material from the United States which heretofore was being purchased in Great Britain. The same may be said of importers handling American industrial machinery. Representatives of American railway equipment companies have submitted several bids for rolling stock and other material to be purchased by the State Railways, but as yet no decision has been reached by that entity as to the firm or firms which will be granted contracts. The representative of one of these American companies informed the Chamber of Commerce that the wording of the calls for bids did not tend to favor European firms as opposed to American.
In short, it would appear that in the two months in which the new exchange regulations as affecting shipments of fifty categories of United States Merchandise have been in operation, American export [Page 215] trade with Argentina in such lines has increased appreciably and the prospects for a further gain are exceedingly auspicious.