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Planning Study Committee - Annual Report (Diane Hastert)
Representative Government - Annual Report (Barbara Nobriga)
International Relations - Annual Report (Melvia Kawashima)
Foreign Trade Page
Foreign Policy - Trade (Melvia Kawashima)
Foreign Policy Association's "Great Decisions" ... wrap-up for 1973 (Barbara Wiebenga)

Foreign Policy - Trade

"State Barriers to World Trade" -from US - Japan Trades Council, March '73

Hawaii statute establishes preference for American products: "in all expenditures of public money for any public work and in the purchase of materials and supplies preference shall be given to American products, materials and supplies."

With a new round of multilateral trade talks scheduled to begin in Supt. 1973, Pres. Nixon has asked for the widest range of negotiating power to trade particularly with USSR and R. China. State "Buy American" statutes and regulations thus contradict this country's objectives in the up-coming negotiations and threaten to undermine its efforts to obtain meaningful concessions at the conference table.

The Constitution grants to Congress the exclusive power to regulate foreign commerce. State laws and regulations limiting public purchases to domestic sources can clearly affect "commerce with foreign nations" and therefore fringe upon the exclusive power of Congress. In Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton v. Superior Court 208 Cal. App. 803 (1962), a California Court ruled that the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in Japan superseded the California "Buy American Act".

The politics of the problem: State legislators and other state officials are hard-pressed by industry and labor pleas for protection against foreign competition, a record US trade deficit in 1972, high unemployment also give momentum to "Buy American" movement. What is needed is more effective public information by liberal trade groups and the recognition on the part of the American taxpayer and consumer that ultimately they foot the bill......

Melvia Kawashima

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