The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Cuba (Briggs)
Sir: With further reference to the proposed supplementary trade agreement with Cuba, public hearings were held on September 8, 9 and 10, 1941 following the issuance on July 26 of a public notice of intention to negotiate such an agreement, the recommendations of the trade-agreements organization regarding the concessions to be proposed to the Cuban Government have now been approved, and there is attached hereto the text of a note which you are authorized to hand to the Minister of State setting forth this Government’s proposals.
The utmost importance is attached to the conclusion of the proposed agreement at the earliest possible date. With this in mind, every effort has been made to include in this Government’s original offers of concessions on products imported from Cuba, the most favorable possible customs treatment. It is believed that the offers which you [Page 203] are now authorized to present to the Minister of State represent the maximum concessions which this Government is in a position to grant.
With respect to the requests of this Government for concessions by the Cuban Government on products imported from the United States, it may be noted that although the number of items is relatively large as compared with those on which concessions are offered, it is believed that the value of the trade involved in all items on which duty reductions are requested does not exceed, with the exception of rice, more than about 3,500,000 pesos per year. Regarding rice, it will be noted that a request has been made for a reduction in duty from 1.85 to 1.50 pesos per hundred kilograms. It is believed possible that the Cuban Government may present a counter-proposal on this item with a view to limiting the application of the reduced duty to a specified quantity of rice of United States origin. The trade-agreements organization will, for your own information, be prepared to consider such a counter-proposal.
It is hoped, in view of the limited amount of Cuban import trade covered by this Government’s requests for concessions, that the Cuban Government may find it possible to grant those requests with a minimum of negotiation.
With respect to the general provisions of the proposed agreement, it is believed that the comment relating thereto which appears in the attached note to the Minister of State, covers the principal points involved in this Government’s proposals. In view of the nature of the changes or additions suggested, and the fact that the Government of Cuba would gain definite advantages from the standpoint of ability to secure greater revenues, it is not anticipated that serious difficulty will be encountered in obtaining agreement by the Cuban Government to our proposals. A definitive text covering the proposed changes will be sent to you as soon as possible.
Full powers to sign the proposed agreement on behalf of this Government, once an accord has been reached with the Cuban Government, are being prepared for transmittal to you in the near future.
Very truly yours,
- This note was handed to Dr. Angel Solano, Chief of the Economic Section of the Ministry of State, on September 30.↩
- See Department of State Bulletin, August 23, 1941, pp. 152 ff.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Approved June 12, 1934; 48 Stat. 943.↩
- Agreement signed November 17, 1938. For correspondence concerning this agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. ii, pp. 1 ff.; for text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 164, or 54 Stat, (pt. 2) 1897.↩
- 50 Stat. 903, 908.↩
- Not printed.↩