ment tried it before, i.e., from 1945 to
19.50. and failed. It tried at that time
to take this country into the International Trade Organization, The attempt failed in 1950 when the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, after a
public hearing, refused to report the
ratifying resolution out of Committee.
The ITO died as a result.
BEWARE OF CAMOUFLAGE
Now, having learned a lesson, the
State Department, with no change in
final objective, has hit upon an approach that appears completely innocent. The protective and deceptive
coloration is almost perfect.
The ITO proposal, though clumsy
and intricate and unwieldy, was at
least honest. It was designed as an instrument of world economic planning,
and it went down to ignominious defeat because the Congress would have
nothing of it. Now, like the Disney
fox. it is back in an innocent-looking
and even attractive garb.
The OTC looks innocent, indeed. It
has no powers! No powers at all! Except to call international conferences;
But please note, such conferences
would hate power. In such a conclave
the General Agreement could be
amended by the Assembly in any
manner agreed upon. The International Trade Organization Charter,
deleated in Congress, could itself be
resurrected and Congress would not
have another shot at it.
Yes, say the proponents, but Congress could still assert its supremacy.
Well, 1 will leave the morality and
integrity of it to you. Congress could,
of course, in the extremities kick over
the traces, precipitate ill will among
the Western nations and generally act
irresponsibly and willfully obstreperous as a means of reasserting its
The question is not only is the OTC
proposal constitutional, but is it wise
and would it promote good international practice? Would it be sound
policy to put Congress into a position
in which it cannot legislate as it
might wish to, without violating an
How, in other words, can the "
Department properly make an >£'
national agreement that binds
gress against exercising its legis1
authority? Yet that is precisely
has been done in the General rfi
ment on Tariffs and Trade!
approval of the OTC would l*
approval of the General Agreeine",
which the State Department!
agreed that certain tariff rates w'i",
be changed by legislation, ano^i
there will be no import quotas
lished or maintained.
These are all methods of regu1
commerce and that power lies
Obviously the State Depa)
cannot in fact thus bind CongresSj
it can agree with other countries
Congress will not act and thus P
Congress in the position of acting ,
at the expense of dishonoring
United States! This means th''1
State Department has put a roadj
across the legislative path of Co*j
equal in weight to the hone' "
What kind of maneuvering ,
that permits one branch of th6'
(Continuedon Topol v'(''
can often be surmounted by quality
or style factors, by reducing costs or
effecting other economies. With quotas this is not possible.
For many years U. S, export trade
lias suffered greatly from such restrictions imposed by other countries and
a major aim of U. S. commercial policy has been to outlaw their use as
protective devices. The achievement,
therefore, of an agreement among all
the major trading nations of the world
not to use such restrictive devices lor
that purpose is a victory of the first
magnitude for the principles of foreign trade policy which tlie United
States has itself followed and long
urged on the rest of the world.
There are certain exceptions to this
general prohibition against quantitative restrictions that are rigorously defined in the General Agreement. The
exceptions cover, in general, three situations: (1) to protect the foreign
exchange position of countries in balance of payments difficulties; (2) to
promote tlie industrial development
of economically underdeveloped
countries; (3) to limit the imports of
agricultural products into countries
which have domestic price-support
schemes and production controls for
these products. (The U, S. has been
granted a waiver permitting import
quotas required by Section 22 of the
Agricultural Adjustment Act. even in
those eases where production controls
are not used.)
All countries entitled to maintain
quotas by virtue of these provisions
must consult periodically with the
organization, provide justification for
their continued use, and indicate steps
taken lor their ultimate elimination.
Part II also contains provisions permitting any country to take steps necessary to protect its national security,
public morals, health and similar matters.
Finally, the General Agreement also
contains the so-called "escape clause."
Under this clause a country max modify or withdraw a specific concession
if. as a result of unforeseen circumstances, imports of the particular
article concerned have caused or
threaten to cause serious injurs to one
of its own industries. This clause is
essentially the same as the escape
clause the U. S. has included in all its
. "ihl't 1
trade agreements since W*1^ 0t
which has been part of the I of th '
Agreements Act since 1951. j than
Hart I The Organizahfj yea
estaDlislies tlie Organization »'■ f "tent
Cooperation to administer t'1' . l>ri\,
era! Agreement and to pel''"' '" 1m ,
Trade Cooperation — deals «" j 25 pe
cedural matters and with othe'l these ■
tions relevant to the Agreerne^f Trie
whole. Article XXV. now' <y G\TT
establishes the Organization h* ( "lent
following additional functions1 J'l'Oin
(,i) tn facilitate intt ryovei iimeilt''1 J ?'leb ;
tations on questions relating "' *v0rld
(b) tn sponsor international tra»'' trade
Hons; ,„.J to ,.,,
(c) to sl,„l> ■ questions nf interna"'| i. ' Ci
ami en,n,Hernial policy '",'nil''. ■'' '' '
appropriate, make rconn""' "Oils.
thereon; , , u^resqlte
(d) to collect, anah/.c and pnh''Sj-fj VVorhl
tion ami statislieal ilat.i 'r'-' jjf.of
tern.,lion.,I trade and cninn" a'. ',,, , "'
due regard hciim paid 1». ,JiUiv
this lield of other '"' AKreei
"The Organization shall
authority to amend the />''"'
the General Agreement; »"'
or other action of the As**l
" I he Assembly consists of all tn jF.vr-r
inH parties of GAT] \,
(Continued <"> '
I'm is I'm,, xi News, Feb'1'