Joint Statement by the Secretary of State and the Brazilian Minister of Finance (Souza Costa)3

The following joint statement is made by the Secretary of State and the Minister of Finance of Brazil:

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“The commercial agreement negotiated between the United States and Brazil was the first accord—apart from the agreement between the United States and Cuba4—signed under the authority of the Trade Agreements Act.5 Under the Agreement each country by lowering various tariff restrictions prepared the way for an increase in trade between them. Further, by exchanging pledges against the increase in existing duties or the application of new duties on many products vital in their trade they safeguarded their existing trade.

“The specific trade concessions were no more important from a long range view, than the type of agreement that was negotiated and the type of trade policy to which the two Governments committed themselves in this Agreement. It is based on the mutual exchange of most-favored-nation pledges which guarantee that the products of each country should find opportunity in the markets of the other on terms no less favorable than the products of any other country. The underlying meaning of this pledge is a broad one; to wit, that both countries gain reciprocal assurance of both the form and substance of equality of treatment, and that the trade relations between them and the rest of the world may be enabled to develop with that protection.

“The Agreement has been operative for almost two years. It was both natural and desirable that advantage be taken by the principals of the Brazilian Mission in this country to review its past operations and its prospects. This has been done in a series of comprehensive discussions in which both countries have freely explained their position and their problems. As these conversations come to an end the two governments declare their intention of continuing the agreement in force and of bending every effort towards the attainment of its objectives. Experience has demonstrated that a number of minor complementary measures are advisable in order to safeguard its principles and benefits in view of the form of trading pursued by some other countries. Accordingly, they undertake to protect these principles and benefits against outside competition that is directly subsidized by governments.

“The high convenience was furthermore recognized of the creation of two joint Brazilian-American committees composed of representatives of the trade interests of the two countries. One will be established in Rio de Janeiro, and the other in New York or Washington, with the purpose of studying the best means indicated for developing trade between Brazil and the United States, and of securing, within the commitments mutually entered into by the Government of Brazil [Page 318] and the Government of the United States in the Commercial Agreement of February 2, 1935, the most appropriate solutions in order to overcome the obstacles which might hinder the natural development of trade between the two countries.

“These two joint committees will have independent standing, and the obligation of reporting to the two Governments. They will be guided entirely by the wish to foster trade between the two countries. The two Governments are convinced that this innovation in commercial arrangements between the two countries, suggested by the President of Brazil, will provide the basis of experience useful to them both.

“The discussion also dealt with certain minor administrative customs regulations, bearing upon the operation of the Agreement. The Brazilian mission has undertaken to give full and prompt study to certain of these regulations with a view towards simplifying or modifying them as may be found necessary. This would complete the substantial improvement of customs administration already made effective by the Brazilian Government.”

  1. Issued by the Department as a press release for publication in the morning newspapers of July 16, 1937.
  2. Signed August 24, 1934, Foreign Relations, 1934, vol. v, p. 169; for correspondence, see ibid., pp. 108 ff.
  3. Approved June 12, 1934; 48 Stat. 943.