American Trade Policy: 1923-1995

By Edward S. Kaplan | Go to book overview

The Trade Agreements Act approved the nontariff agreements discussed earlier, including eliminating the American Selling Price that was used for customs valuation. However, the most important change made by Congress on the nontariff agreements dealt with countervailing duties. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee had disagreed on criteria relief- seeking firms had to meet. The House committee and the president wanted to maintain what had originally been negotiated at Geneva. However, the Senate Finance Committee wanted to change the wording of the bill in a way that would have weakened it. For example, the Senate wished to use only the word "injury" in order for the government to seek countervailing duties against imports. The House and president wanted the tougher standard, "material injury," which the Senate eventually accepted. 105

Both houses gave their approval to the Trade Agreements Act in July 1979. On July 11 the House approved the bill 395 to 7; on July 23 the Senate passed it 90 to 4; and Carter signed it on the White House lawn on July 26. 106 Of the bill's 11 opponents, 5 were from Wisconsin, a dairy-producing state. The dairy industry had protested the slight adjustment in cheese import quotas and refused to support the bill. 107

Congress gave the president the authority to participate in the Tokyo Round by passing the Trade Reform Act in 1974 and then approved the results of the nontariff agreements of the Tokyo Round by passing the Trade Agreements Act in 1979. Strauss, more than anyone else, deserved credit for the smooth passage of the 1979 bill. He averted expected massive industry opposition by having nearly a thousand representatives from every private sector of the economy take part in the talks. 108 The major achievement of the Tokyo Round was the negotiation of codes on nontariff barriers that for the first time subjected them to international agreement. The major failure was the continuation of the agricultural trade barriers. The trading nations of the world would once again try to breach these barriers in the Uruguay Round beginning in 1986.


NOTES
1.
Franklin Root, International Trade and Investment, 7th ed. ( Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Publishing Co., 1994), p. 219.
2.
New York Times, April 11, 1973, p. 1.
6.
Ibid., April 13, 1973, p. 62; May 7, 1973, p. 18.
10.
Ibid.; New York Times, May 12, 1973, p. 41.
11.
New York Times, June 19, 1973, p. 55.
12.
Ibid., June 27, 1973, p. 1; July 5, 1973, p. 43.
13.
New York Times, July 5, 1973, p. 45.

-108-

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American Trade Policy: 1923-1995
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Economics and Economic History ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Background to the Hawley-Smoot Tariff 1
  • Notes 18
  • 2 - The Hawley-Smoot Tariff 38
  • 3 - The Building of a Liberal Trade Policy 43
  • Notes 60
  • 4 - The Trade Expansion Act and the Kennedy Round 65
  • Notes 86
  • 5 - The Trade Reform Act and the Tokyo Round 89
  • Notes 108
  • 6 - Fair Trade and the Uruguay Round 113
  • Notes 132
  • 7 - The North American Free Trade Agreement 137
  • Notes 156
  • 8 - A Return to Unilateralism 159
  • Notes 167
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 177
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