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Letter to the Ambassador of Chile on the U.S. Excise Tax on Copper

September 01, 1950

[Released September 1, 1950. Dated August 29, 1950]

My dear Mr. Ambassador:

I have read with great interest your memorandum of August twenty-first, in which you express your concern over the malicious propaganda disseminated by the communists in Latin America in order to exploit to their advantage the recent expiration of the suspension of the United States excise tax on copper.

The decision to reinstate once again a suspension of this tax is one that is to be taken by the United States Congress on the basis of multiple considerations affecting the national interest. The factors involved include questions of our domestic economy, international trade and foreign policy.

At present, there is diversity of opinion in this country concerning this tax, determined by the various segments of industry and labor most immediately affected. After careful study of all the problems involved, I have recommended further suspension of the tax and the House of Representatives has approved such extension for a period of one year. I hope very much that the Senate will take similar action in the very near future.

I am constantly appreciative of the mutual and traditional friendship of our two countries and of the cooperative attitude of the people and Government of Chile toward the United States. I am fully aware of the malicious propaganda devices practiced by the enemies of our democracies in an attempt to sow discord amongst us. I earnestly hope that a happy solution will be reached in this problem of benefit to both Chile and the United States and our mutual friendship.

Very sincerely yours,


[His Excellency Senor Felix Nieto del Rio, Ambassador of Chile, Washington, D.C.]

Note: On May 22, 1951, the President approved a bill "to suspend certain import taxes on copper" (65 Stat. 44).

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Ambassador of Chile on the U.S. Excise Tax on Copper Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230192

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