The Chargé in the Dominican Republic (Atwood) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 1.]
Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 16 of November 24—7 p.m., I have the honor to enclose, for the Department’s information, a copy of a note20 handed by me this morning to [Page 426] the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs making reference to the Legation’s note No. 259 dated October 10, 1936,20a to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, concerning most-favored-nation treatment for American goods similar to those covered by brand names in the Franco-Dominican trade agreement, and inquiring when I may expect a reply to the latter note.
Upon handing the above note to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I said to him that I had been instructed by my Government to point out orally that the United States Government is receiving numerous complaints from American exporters that their products when imported into the Dominican Republic are not receiving treatment equal to that accorded to similar products of French origin covered by brand names as stipulated in the Franco-Dominican trade agreement; that my Government is concerned at the apparent hesitancy of the Dominican Government to comply with the clear obligation to extend most-favored-nation treatment as stipulated in the Modus Vivendi of 1924; and that my Government feels confident that the Dominican Government, especially at the time when the American States are about to begin discussions of their common problems at Buenos Aires,21 will desire to continue its support of the movement towards more liberal and non-discretionary tariff policies, in line with the resolution on economic, commercial and tariff policy adopted by the Seventh International Conference of American States. I also asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expected to be in a position to make a reply to our representations.
Señor Bonetti Burgos said that he would give my note his immediate attention and that he confidently expected to be able to give me a reply before December 2. He added that as soon as he could consult with President Trujillo he would call me by telephone and ask me to come to his office to receive his Government’s reply. I thanked Señor Bonetti Burgos for his promise to give the matter his prompt attention.
Referring to my oral representations when handing him the above mentioned note, Señor Bonetti Burgos told me in confidence that President Trujillo is sending a message to the Dominican Congress asking for the prompt enactment of legislation to provide for drastic limitation of imports of Japanese goods into this country. He said that when enacted into law this bill would also enable the Dominican Government to grant all American products treatment equal to that accorded to similar products of French origin covered by brand names in the Franco-Dominican Trade Agreement. I took the occasion [Page 427] to remind Señor Bonetti Burgos that, in my opinion, American products were already clearly entitled to most-favored-nation treatment under the American-Dominican Modus Vivendi of 1924, without the enactment of any supplementary legislation