U.S. Senate Decision-Making: The Trade Agreements Act of 1979

By Robert W. Jerome | Go to book overview

3
Background, Briefings, and Hearings

BACKGROUND

The announcement of President Carter on January 4, 1979, did not land in a political vacuum. Two issues which threatened to destroy the negotiations remained unresolved from the previous Congress: a textile exemption and an extension of the secretary of the treasury's authority to waive countervailing duties. The textile exemption threatened the negotiations from within by trying to pull textile tariff concessions out of the negotiations. Because a number of other concessions were interlocked to these textile concessions, if textiles were pulled out of the MTN, the negotiations could unravel. The waiver of countervailing duties threatened the negotiations from without. The European Economic Community (EEC) viewed this gesture as fundamental to the conclusion of the negotiations, and refusal to reinstitute the waiver would trigger a backlog of countervailing duty cases, destroy the atmosphere of the negotiations, and provide an excuse for the EEC to pull out of the negotiations. Neither issue was new, both came close to disaster, and each was related to the other.


Countervailing Duty Waiver Extension

By mid- January 1979 when the Ninety-sixth Congress convened, the most pressing of the two was the waiver extension, because the authority had expired on January 2, 1979. Section 303 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1303) required the secretary of the treasury to impose countervailing duties on imports of products on which he determined a subsidy ("bounty or grant") was being paid or bestowed by a foreign government. The countervailing duty is imposed in addition to regular duties and is

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U.S. Senate Decision-Making: The Trade Agreements Act of 1979
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Part I- THE CASE STUDY 1
  • 1- History 3
  • 2- Trade Package 15
  • 3- Background, Briefings, And Hearings 23
  • 4- The Non-Markups 41
  • 5- The Non-Conferences And Final Passage 69
  • Part II- THE THEORIES 85
  • 6- Theoretical Dimensions 87
  • 7: Structural Theories 91
  • 8: Factorial Theories 103
  • 9: Behavioral Theories 117
  • 10- Mixed Theories 125
  • 11- Time 142
  • 12- Conclusion 143
  • Notes 149
  • Bibliography 161
  • Index 171
  • About the Author 177
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