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As to discriminations in Central American ports, in the form of draw
backs on importations by particular lines of steamers, under special contracts with the various ('entral American Governments, see For. Rel. 1887, 98, 125, 126, 128, 131, 133, 136, 137, 138, 142, 144; For. Rel.
1888, I. 90–95, 98, 124, 131, 141, 148, 151, 159, 166. These discriminations were regarded by the United States as justifying
the application of $ 2502, Rev. Stat., which imposes a discriminating duty of ten per cent. ad valorem on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the l'nited States in foreign vessels not entitled by treaty or any act of ('ongress to be entered on payment of the same duties as are levied on goods, wares, and merchandise imported in
American vessels. (For. Rel. 1888, I. 124-125, 127-131, 166.). The rebates were defended by the minister of foreign relations of Costa
Rica on the ground that, as they were allowed under special contracts with a particular line or particular lines of steamers in consideration of reciprocal services to the Government, no national discrimination
was (reated. (For. Rel. 1888, I. 127-131.) For the views of the Mexican Government on this question, see For. Rel.
1887, 668–670, 678, 682, 681–691, 698, 709, 711, 714, 715-719, 723–726,
729-742; For. Rel. 1888, II. 1091, 1094. As to the application of $ 2502 in the case of the Mexican steamer Mon
serrat, see For. Rel. 1888, II. 1263, 1288, 1291-1292. The question of the imposition of discriminating tonnage and cargo dues
on Mexican vessels in American ports was again discussed in 1893 and in 1894. The Government of the United States declined to remore the discriminations, since it appeared that in spite of certain changes in the Mexican law the Mexican Government still imposed on foreign sailing vessels a discriminating duty of $1.50 a ton, while exempting altogether sailing vessels owned by Mexican citizens, the only foreign vessels that were exempt being those which carried pit
(oal. (For. Rel. 1894, 397-410.) As to the proclamation of the President, suspending tonnage dues on
Mexican vessels in certain cases, see Mr. Day, Assist. Sec. of State,
to Sec. of Treasury, Nov. 16, 1897, 222 VS. Dom. Let. 471. As to the question of the importation of American goods into Portuguese
colonies by way of Lisbon, as distinct from direct importations into such colonies from the United States, and the question of the application of Art. IV. of the treaty between the United States and Portugal, of 1810, see Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lewis, min. to Portugal, Dec. 7, 1887, For. Rel. 1888, II. 1381. In this instruction Mr. Bayard said: “The question of indirect importations into the colonies of a country is generally casus omissus in treaties." It appeared that goods imported in American vessels into the colonies by way of a Portuguese port enjoyed a reduction of 30 per cent of the tariff duties on cargoes. The Portuguese Government replied that the commerce of the metropolis with the province of Cape Verde and with the other provinces of West Africa was regarded as coasting trade (cabotage), and as such was reserved to the Portuguese flag under article 1315 of the commercial code; that this reservation was entirely consistent with the treaty of 1810, and that no government had objected to the principle; that since 1877, however, the reservation of the coasting trade to the national flag had been gradually abandoned as to the colonies, except within the limits of ('ape Verde and Angola. (Senhor Barros Gomez, min. of for. aff., to Mr. Wilbor, Am.
chargé, July 7, 1888, For. Rel. 1888, II. 1386-1388.) By the act of July 24, 1897, the President is authorized to suspend the
operation of $$ 4219, 2502, R. S., so that vessels from a foreign country imposing partial discriminating tonnage duties on American vessels, or partial discriminating import duties on American merchandise, “may enjoy in our ports the identical privileges which the same class of American vessels and merchandise may enjoy in said
foreign country." (30 Stat. 214.) As to a remonstrance against the imposition of discriminating duties on
the cargoes of American vessels which had touched at an interme-
Cong. 2 sess. 69.
croft, min. to England, No. 65, July 30, 1841, MS. Inst. Gr. Br.
1803, 7 Cong. 2 sess., vol. 12, p. 347.
name of “convoy duty," see Mr. Madison, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mon
roe, March 6, 1805, MS. Inst. U. States Ministers, VI. 271. A proclamation abolishing discriminating duties on Roman vessels, which
was issued by the President June 7, 1827, was inadvertently omitted
Guthrie, Sec. of Treasury, Sept. 29, 18.56, 46 MS. Dom. Let. 45.)
Mr. Rives, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Straus, min. to Turkey, No.
State, to Mr. Hirsch, min. to Turkey, No. 57, Feb. 12, 1890, id. V. 102. As to an attempted discriminating duty on American flour in Turkey, see
President McKinley's annual message of Dec. 5, 1899.
August 9, 1880, the Chinese legation at Washington asked that the screw steamer Wo Chung, the first Chinese steamer to enter an American port, might, on her arrival at San Francisco, receive the same privileges as were accorded “ to vessels of other nations in treaty relations with the United States."
The Department of State, in reply, August 13, 1880, called attention to SS 1219 and 4228, Revised Statutes, and, referring to the fact that the treaties between the United States and China did not establish reciprocal exemption from discriminating taxes, stated that the Secretary of the Treasury had directed the collector at San Francisco to impose a tonnage tax on the steamer at alien rates, but had reserved the question of duties on the cargo.
“ Referring to your note of the 9th instant relative to the expected arrival of the Chinese steamer Wo Chung at the port of San Francisco, and to my reply thereto of the 13th, I have now the honor to inform you that the reserved question of the customs duties of importation chargeable upon the cargo which the vessel may bring has received careful consideration.
“Like the question of alien tonnage dues, of which my former note treated, the matter of customs duties on cargo entering the ports of the United States from foreign ports is one to be exclusively decided, in the absence of specific and reciprocal exemption by treaty, according to the domestic legislation of the country.
“The existing treaties of commerce between the United States and China do not provide for such reciprocal exemption, but stipulate solely that citizens of the United States shall never pay higher duties' [on merchandise entering China] “than those paid by the most favored nations. The question is, therefore, remitted to the domestic legislation of the United States. That legislation prescribes, in section 2502 of the Revised Statutes, a discriminating duty of ten per centum ad valorum in addition to the regular duties imposed by law on goods imported in vessels not of the United States; but it also provides that this discriminating duty shall not apply to merchandise imported in alien vessels which are entitled by treaty or any act of Congress to enter the United States on the same footing as though imported in vessels of the United States.
“An act of Congress, applicable to the case in point, is found embodied in section 4228 of the Revised Statutes, which empowers the President, upon satisfactory proof being given by the government of any foreign nation that no discriminating duties of tonnage or import are there levied upon United States vessels, or upon merchandise carried thither in American bottoms, to issue a proclamation suspending and discontinuing the discriminating duties aforesaid with respect to the vessels and cargoes coming to the United States under the flag of such foreign nation.
" In order, however, that the discretionary authority conferred by this enactment should be applied in conformity with its entire spirit as well as its letter, it becomes necessary that the satisfactory proof it contemplates shall cover not merely American imports into China, but the flag under which they enter the Empire, on which point the treaty is silent.
" It is found practicable, in this view of the question, to join the question of tonnage dues, treated of in my former note, to the question of customs duties now under consideration between us, inasmuch as both matters are within the competency of the President under the above-mentioned section 4228 of the statutes.
“I have, therefore, the honor to inquire whether you are prepared to support the request contained in your note of the 9th instant, for the accordance of the most favored nation treatment to the Wo Chung, and consequently to Chinese vessels in general which may enter our ports with cargo, by giving, on behalf of your Government, satisfactory proof on the following points:
“ First. Are any other or higher tonnage dues exacted in the open ports of China, from the vessels of the United States resorting thereto, than are paid by Chinese vessels or any foreign vessel engaged in like trade therewith?
“ Second. Are any other or higher customs duties of impost exacted in China from American citizens importing merchandise thither than are paid by Chinese subjects, or the citizens of the most favored power, importing the like merchandise into China ?
“ Third. Is there any discriminating or additional customs duty imposed upon merchandise, whether of American or foreign origin, entering the open ports of China in vessels of the United States, which is not imposed upon the like goods entering those ports in Chinese vessels, or in the vessels of any foreign power!
“I have thus presented my inquiries in categorical form, in view of the circumstance that the most favored nation treatment which is sought by your note of the 9th, for the Wo Chung and her cargo, is identical with that which a vessel of the United States and her cargo receive on entering the ports of the United States. I have also, as you will perceive, limited my inquiries to the open ports of China, because a Chinese vessel coming from or trading with a port of the Empire closed to the commerce of non-Chinese vessels would necessarily have no claim to exemption or favor based upon reciprocity of treatment.
“ Upon the receipt of your reply to the foregoing inquiries, the Department will be in a position to decide whether and to what extent the case of the Wo Chung and vessels of her class come within the discretionary power of the Presidential proclamation contemplated in section 4228 of the Revised Statutes, both as to tonnage and customs duties.”
Mr. Hay, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Chen Lan Pin, Aug. 23, 1880, For.
Rel. 1880, 304.
criminating duties or taxes were imposed on American vessels or
By section 14 of the act of June 26, 1881, a duty of 3 cents a ton, not to exceed in the aggregate 15 cents a ton in one year, was imposed in lieu of the uniform tax of 30 cents a ton previously levied on vessels which should be entered in any port of the United States from any foreign port or place in North America, Central America, the West Indies, the Bahamas, the Bermudas, the Hawaiian Islands, or Newfoundland; and a duty of 6 cents a ton, not to exceed the old rate of 30 cents a ton per annum, was imposed at each entry on all vessels entered in the United States from any other foreign ports or places. The President, however, was authorized to suspend the collection of so much of the 3 to 15 cents duty on vessels entered from any port in Canada, Newfoundland, the Bahamas, the Bermudas, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America, down to and including Aspinwall and Panama, as might be in excess of the tonnage and light-house dues, or other equivalent tax or taxes, imposed on American vessels by the government of the foreign country in which such port was situated. In course of time claims were presented by the Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden and Norway for the 3 to 15 cents rate. These claims, except in the case of Sweden and Norway, were based on the most favorednation clause. The claim of Sweden and Norway was based upon a further stipulation in Article VIII. of the treaty of July 4, 1827. The claims were all denied, though that of Sweden and Norway was eventually admitted, it appearing that the construction given by that Government to Article VIII. of the treaty of 1827 was originally claimed by and conceded to the United States. By the act of June 19, 1886, however, sec. 11 of the act of June 26, 1884, was amended so that the President was directed to suspend the collection of so much of the duties imposed on vessels from any foreign port as might be " in excess of the tonnage and light-house dues, or other equivalent tax or taxes, imposed in said port on American vessels by the government of the foreign country in which such port is situated." Under this provision proclamations for the reciprocal suspension of duties were issued by the President in the case of the Netherlands, Germany, and certain other countries.
Report of Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to the President, Jan. 14, 1889, H.
Ex. Doc. 74, 50 ('ong. 2 sess.; For. Rel. 1888, II. 1857-1956.
For. Rel. 1890, 318, 319, 320.
issued in 1888, was revoked by President Cleveland by proclama-
In 1903, American merchants complained of a law published by the Haitian Government on August 22, 1903, by which a special license tax was imposed on all foreigners doing business in that country. The United States reaffirmed the position which it had taken in 1876, 1893, and 1897, that all such discriminatory taxes were a violation of Article V. of the treaty of 1864. The Haitian GovernInent raised the point that the article in question applied only to war contributions, but the United States declared that this suggestion was negatived both by the language of the treaty and by uniform prece