Faber v. United States
221 U.S. 649 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Faber v. United States, 221 U.S. 649 (1911)

Faber v. United States

No. 134

Submitted April 20, 1911

Decided May 29, 1911

221 U.S. 649

Syllabus

Quaere, and purposely not decided, whether the reduction in tariff rate provided by § 2 of the Treaty with Cuba of 1903 is limited to rate of duty in general tariff act and does not apply to special rates under special agreement with other countries. Whitney v. Robertson,124 U. S. 190.

The Treaty with Cuba of 1903 was signed and proclaimed after the

Page 221 U. S. 650

decisions of this Court in the Insular Cases to the effect that Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands were not foreign countries, and within the meaning of that treaty, the Philippines are not a foreign country or another country, and the reduction of tariff on articles imported from Cuba are not to be based on tariff rates on the same articles brought from the Philippine Islands.

In the absence of some qualifying phrase, the word "country" in the revenue laws of the United States embrace all provinces of a state, no matter how widely separated, and the Philippines are a part of the United States within the meaning of the Treaty with Cuba of 1903.

The duties imposed and collected on articles coming into the United States from the Philippine Islands are not covered into the Treasury of the United States, but are used and expended solely for the use and government of those Islands, and are not to be regarded as duties on imports from foreign countries within the meaning of the Treaty with Cuba of 1903.

The word "imports" is the correlative of the word "exports," and preferential rates granted to Cuba under the treaty of 1903 relate only to duties on imports from countries foreign to the United States.

The provisions of Art. VIII of the Treaty with Cuba of 1903 will not be construed so as to give that country advantages over shipments coming into the United States from a part of its own territory.

157 F. 140 affirmed on the above points.

This case raises the question as to whether Cuban imports are entitled to a reduction of twenty percent upon the rates charged on goods coming from the Philippine Islands, or only twenty percent upon the regular tariff rates on goods imported from foreign countries.

The Tariff Act of July 24, 1897, lays a duty on cigars of $4.50 per pound and twenty-five percent ad valorem.

The Act of March 8, 1902, to raise revenue for the Philippine Islands, provides that there shall be

"levied, collected, and paid upon all articles coming into the United States from the Philippine Archipelago the rates of duty which are required to be collected and paid upon like articles imported from foreign countries; provided that, upon all articles the growth and

Page 221 U. S. 651

product of the Philippine Archipelago, coming into the United States from the Philippine Archipelago, there shall be levied, collected, and paid only seventy-five percentum of the rates of duty aforesaid. . . . All duties and taxes collected in the United States upon articles coming from the Philippine Archipelago . . . shall not be covered into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States, but shall be held as a separate fund, and paid into the Treasury of the Philippine Islands, to be used and expended for the government and benefit of said islands."

32 Stat. 54, 5 Fed.Stat.Ann. 716.

The Commercial Convention with Cuba, proclaimed December 17, 1903 (33 Stat. 2136), declares, in Article 2, that,

"during the term of this convention, all articles of merchandise . . . being the product of the soil or industry of the Republic of Cuba, imported into the United States shall be admitted at a reduction of twenty percentum of the rates of duty thereon, as provided by the tariff Act of the United States approved July 24, 1897, or as may be provided by any tariff law of the United States subsequently enacted."

Article 8 provides that

"the rates of duty herein granted by the United States to the Republic of Cuba are and shall continue during the term of this convention preferential in respect to all like imports from other countries, and, in return for said preferential rates of duty granted to the Republic of Cuba by the United States, it is agreed that the concession herein granted on the part of the said Republic of Cuba to the products of the United States shall likewise be, and shall continue, during the term of this convention, preferential in respect to all like imports from other countries."

In April, 1906, the convention and statutes above referred to being of force, the plaintiff imported cigars and alcohol into the United States from Cuba. He contended that, under the convention, he could only be required to

Page 221 U. S. 652

pay a duty twenty percent less than that collected on tobacco coming into the United States from Philippine Islands, which paid seventy-five percent of the regular rate under the Tariff Act of July, 1897. He also claimed that he should not be required to pay twenty percent less than the regular tariff on alcohol, but twenty percent less than special rates allowed on importations of alcohol from France, Germany, Italy, and Portugal.

His claim being disallowed, he paid, under protest, a duty of twenty percent less than the tariff rate on cigars and alcohol. On a hearing by the Board of Appraisers, his protest was overruled. That judgment was affirmed by the circuit court (157 F. 140), and the case was brought here.

Page 221 U. S. 657

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