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Trade Issues (Grace Yokoi)
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Item of Interest
New Year's Resolutions of the Local Agenda Chairman
Time draws near the expiration of the Trade Agreements Act -- June 30, 1962. A mood of change and controversy is in the air. Congress must decide whether to renew, restyle, or replace the Trade Agreements Act. Congressmen, in their desire to satisfy the demands of their home constituencies as well as the needs of the nation as a whole, will argue for and against existing trade policies.
The Politics of Trade, published by the League of Women Voters, is designed to help focus attention on the major areas of agreement and disagreement in trade and identify the significant issues now before us. It does have a point of view -- that of the League of Women Voters.
We have agreed that international trade should be liberalized, that trade barriers should be systematically reduced, that we should join with other nations to facilitate the negotiation of trade agreements, that Congress should delegate to the Executive authority to negotiate trade agreements, and that tariff policy should be based on the general public interest.
In short we have supported the expansion of both imports and exports; the most favored-nation treatment (extending tariff concessions granted to one country to all), the simplification of customs procedures, long term renewals of the Trade Agreements Ac and reciprocity.
We have opposed measures designed to restrict trade -- Peril Point and Escape Clause procedures, Buy American provisions, and similar attempts to hamper our country's liberal trade program.
The pamphlet defines some of the terms used above. (1) Peril Point. Under a 1951 amendment to the Trade Agreements Act, the point at which the Tariff Commission finds that any further reduction in tariff on a particular article would result in serious injury to the U.S. manufacturer of the same' article. The Peril Point determination is made before tariff negotiations begin. The President may not lower the tariff beyond the Peril Point unless he explains his reasons to Congress. (2) Escape Clause. If an industry feels it is or may be injured because of increased imports resulting from a tariff reduction it may appeal to the Tariff Commission for relief. The Commission may reject the claim or recommend a tariff increase or an import quota to the President. If the President does not follow the recommendation, he must explain his reasons to Congress, which may in accordance with a 1958 amendment overrule his decision by a two-thirds vote.
Be an informed Leaguer on the vital issues of the national trade policies. Be sure to read The Politics of Trade. The price is 50¢. Copies are on sale at unit meetings. You may telephone Grace Yokoi at 983-054 evenings.
Related pamphlets are Hard Choices and World Economic Development, Our Part in a Common Effort. They are 50¢ each.
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