611.00/9–2250 (Bulky)

Policy Record Guide1


Discrimination Against U.S. Business

Policy: To protect, insofar as is appropriate, legitimate US business interests in Latin America from discriminatory action on the part of Latin American governments.2

Action Taken:

We have pointed out to the Brazilian Government the discriminatory nature of Brazilian laws and decrees favoring Lloyd Brazilian over foreign flag shipping lines, and have obtained revision of the onerous shipping decree requiring that all southbound cargo charges be paid in cruzeiros. (Rio’s 963, 10–4–49; Rio’s 1167, 12–12–49; Rio’s 157 and 162, 2–10–50)3
The Acting Secretary has expressed his concern over the unfair treatment of American business enterprise to the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, and a letter has been sent the President of Ecuador protesting the practice of discriminating against US shipping in the collection of consular invoice fees. (Acting Secretary’s conversation with Guatemalan Foreign Minister, 11–9–49;4 Assistant Secretary Miller’s letters of 10–12–49, 12–9–49, and 2–9–505)
Embassy Santiago has been instructed to prepare a formal note protesting the expected Chilean proposal for a forced 50–50 division [Page 673] of Chile–US ocean traffic. (Deptel 31 to Santiago, 2–7–50; Santiago’s 82, 2–21–506)
We have made representations to the Argentine government in several specific instances of discriminatory treatment of US business interests and have made it clear in recent conversations with Argentine officials that no additional US investment would occur so long as American business was subjected to the type of treatment now accorded the power and petroleum companies. It was pointed out that settlement of the situation of American business in Argentina was indispensable to even preliminary consideration of the financial problem, and that once these matters were adjusted we would feel our task greatly facilitated by the signature of an economic treaty (Buenos Aires’ 509, 6–7–49;7 Buenos Aires’ 881, 10–19–49; Deptel 651 to Buenos Aires, 10–23–49; Deptel 731 to Buenos Aires, 12–2–49;8 Montevideo’s 49, 2–25–509)

  1. The Policy Record Guide is a reference file of which copies were held by the Secretary of State and other officers and for which materials were prepared on an occasional basis.
  2. Also pertinent is the address of Edward G. Miller, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, “A Favorable Climate for Private Investment,” delivered in Chicago February 1, 1950. Excerpts are printed in Department of State Bulletin, February 13, 1950, p. 231. For complete text, see Department of State Press Releases, No. 73, dated January 26 for release February 1, under first date.
  3. None printed. For further information, see the editorial note, p. 757.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. ii, p. 669.
  5. None printed.
  6. Neither printed. For (pertinent documentation, see pp. 783801, passim.
  7. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. ii, p. 505.
  8. None printed.
  9. Portions of telegram 49 are quoted in footnotes 9 and 12 to despatch No. 355 from Buenos Aires, March 1, 1950, p. 696.