289. Letter From Dominican President Balaguer to President Nixon1 2

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In earlier years I have found myself impelled to address Your Excellency, asking you to use your discretionary powers and favor the Dominican Republic with a special allocation to its sugar quota for the United States market. In all cases Your Excellency has been understanding and generous in responding to our requests.

During the current year—because of circumstances that are stated briefly below—the situation faced by our sugar industry, on which the economic and political stability of the country depends in large measure, could not be more serious, and that is why I have deemed it necessary to seek Your Excellency’s intervention once again.

A few days ago the United States Department of Agriculture allocated the major part of Puerto Rico’s shortfall, from which important increases in our quota have resulted, bringing it up to an annual average of 700,000 [Page 2] short tons. However, due to the fact that on this occasion the Philippines will be in a position to meet its quota and to absorb its proportionate part of the shortfalls, our possibilities are substantially reduced, so much so that up to this date our quota barely reaches 570,000 short tons; that is, it is less by more than 100,000 tons than the quota received in recent years.

In order for the Dominican Republic to be able to maintain its present rate of development, and to prevent the creation in our country of situations that could even disrupt the advances we have made in the institutional order, it is indispensable that we have, as a minimum, a new allocation of a total of 120,000 tons. I can assure Your Excellency that any smaller quantity would mean a proportionate deficit in our normal exports and would prevent us, to that same extent, from financing our imports, of which approximately 60 per cent represent purchases made in the United States, for the operation and maintenance of the Dominican economy.

Confident that Your Excellency will indeed weigh at their true value the points that I have set forth herein, and that merely sum up briefly a situation to which we attach singular importance, I take the opportunity to renew to you the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.

J. Balaguer
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 783, Country Files, Latin America, Dominican Republic, Vol. I. The translation of Balaguer’s original letter has no classification marking. President Nixon responded to Balaguer’s letter on June 30, indicating that his request would “be taken into account.” (Ibid.) On July 13, the CIA’s Office of National Estimates noted that the U.S. House of Representatives cut the Dominican Republic’s sugar export quota by 25 percent. If the house reduction became law, CIA estimated it would deal a serious blow to the Dominican economy. (Central Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Office, Job 79–T00918A, LA Staff Notes, LA Staff Note No. 3–71, 1971, Box 3)
  2. President Balaguer requested an increase in the Dominican Republic’s special sugar allocation to ensure the country’s economic and political stability.