The Department of State to the British Embassy33

The following are the questions propounded by Mr. Chalkley on March 17, 1937, and the answers:

1. Some more precise indication than that already given of the extent to which the United States are likely to be able to meet the reciprocal desiderata of the United Kingdom.

About 125 rates in about 100 paragraphs of the Tariff Act can probably be reduced. Few, if any, commodities of substantial importance to the United Kingdom are not included. These 125 rates vary in coverage from a single homogeneous commodity to groups of commodities which, in many instances, are covered by a single rate.

2. Are there any commodities in the United Kingdom desiderata on which concessions are out of the question?

There is no item of which the United Kingdom is the principal source of imports into the United States on which, on the basis of present study, a reduction is precluded.

3. Where existing United States tariff rates are high (say of the nature of 40 percent ad valorem or its equivalent) might the maximum reduction of 50 percent be expected?

Of the 125 rates about 60 are, or reach the equivalent of, 40 percent ad valorem or more. On the basis of present studies it appears that the maximum reduction may be feasible on nearly half of these 60 rates, and substantial reductions on most of the remainder. The foregoing are, of course, only rough approximations.

4. With reference to paragraph 2 of the last United States memorandum on what products not subject to Ottawa commitments is improvement in present treatment likely to be requested as essential for a basis for negotiation?

Improved quota treatment will be essential on some hog products, particularly hams.

While it is not possible to point to any other single product not subject to Ottawa commitments on which assurance of improved treatment is essential in reaching a basis for announcing negotiations, improved treatment will, of course, be essential on a considerable number of products of which the United States is the chief source of imports into the United Kingdom.

  1. Handed by the Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements to the Commercial Counselor and Commercial Secretary of the British Embassy on March 19.