The Secretary of State to the Minister in Haiti (White)
Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch no. 795 of February 4, 1942, regarding the proposed exchange of notes by which this Government would waive its most-favored-nation rights under the trade agreement with Haiti in respect of tariff preferences accorded by the latter to the Dominican Republic in the Haitian-Dominican Treaty of Commerce signed August 26, 1941.
The Legation reports that, apparently having in mind loss of revenue to Haiti which might result from the treaty, President Lescot has suggested that the Legation withhold official transmittal of the draft exchange of notes to the Haitian Government and thus enable the latter to present to the Dominican authorities as a reason for postponing ratification of the treaty the excuse that the United States has not yet officially replied to Haiti’s request for its views on the matter.
The Department is of the opinion such an excuse would place this Government in a false position. The facts are that this Government has raised no objection to the treaty on the basis of the provisions of the Executive Agreement of September 13, 1941,9 and that it is prepared to release Haiti from its most-favored-nation obligations under the trade agreement in respect of tariff preferences granted to a contiguous country in accordance with the formula recommended by the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee. If the Haitian Government should give the Dominican Government an impression contrary to these facts, our relations with the Dominican Republic might be affected unfavorably. For your own information, imminent trade-agreement negotiations with the Dominican Republic might be prejudiced. In the light of the foregoing, you should explain why this Government is unable to concur in the course suggested and at the same time transmit the draft notes and explanatory memorandum enclosed with the Department’s instruction no. 353 of January 12, 1942. The Haitian Government can then decide whether it wishes to proceed with the exchange of notes.
With regard to Haiti’s most-favored-nation obligations to other countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada, it is made clear to the Haitian Government in the explanatory memorandum referred to that if the tariff reductions accorded to the Dominican Republic are extended to any other country, this Government would expect that they would be extended immediately and unconditionally to the United States.
Very truly yours,
[For text of the agreement between the United States and Haiti effected by exchange of notes signed at Port-au-Prince, February 16 and 19, 1942, relating to waiver in respect of tariff preferences accorded the Dominican Republic by Haiti under a treaty of commerce between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, signed August 26, 1941, see Executive Agreement Series No. 238, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1415.
For text of the agreement between the United States and Haiti effected by exchange of notes signed at Port-au-Prince April 25, 1942, construing certain provisions of the trade agreement of March 28, 1935, and modifying the agreement effected by exchange of notes signed February 16 and 19, 1942, see Executive Agreement Series No. 252, or 56 Stat, (pt.2) 1497.]