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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. General; The United Nations

United States interest in international economic collaboration for the expansion of world trade and employment: negotiations at Geneva leading to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and to the convening of the Havana conference,   pp. 909-1025 PDF (44.4 MB)

Page 959

obtain in general agreement precise and firm commitments on provi-
sions re nontariff trade barriers which are essential to adequate quid
pro quo for US tariff reduction. [Wilcox.]
Lot 65A987, Box 99
Minutes of a' Meeting of the United States Delegation, Geneva,
                   Switzerland, July 2, 1947 1
  1. Return of Mr. Clayton to Geneva. Mr. Wilcox opened the meet-
ing by asking Mr. Clayton to give the Delegation a summary of his
activities in Washington. Mr. Clayton said he returned to the United
States to make a determined effort to try to forestall passage of the
legislation with respect to wool as it was finally amended by the Com-
mittee handling the legislation of the House of Representatives. The
terms of the legislation as passed by the Senate would not have affected
adversely the negotiations on trade and the ITO Charter now in prog-
ress at the Geneva Conference on trade and employment. The Senate
version of the Bill continued in effect the price support measures of
the war period which amounted to a subsidy paid to domestic pro-
ducers. However, the House Committee handling the legislation
amended the Bill to provide authority for the Secretary of Agricul-
ture to place an import fee of 50 percent ad valorem on imports of
wool. However, there was such an outburst of opposition against dele-
gating so much power to a cabinet officer that it was decided to drop
the amendment in favor of another placing wool under Section 22 (a)
of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Du'ring this period Mr. Clayton
said he had many conferences with the Senate and House leaders,
describing to them the irreparable damage this bill, if passed in that
form, would have on the Geneva Conference. However, despite all of
his pleadings the Bill passed both houses of Congress with very large
majorities. Because of the wide difference between the Senate and
House variations of the Bill it was sent to a House and Senate Con-
ferees' Conference. While before the Conferees, Mr. Clayton, contrary
to all previous proceedings, was permitted to appear before that body
to state once again the tragic consequences that passage of the Bill
in that form would have on the Geneva Conference, particularly at a
time when the United States was taking the leadership in freeing the
channels of international trade from restrictive barriers. Notwith-
standing his pleading the bill was passed by both the Senate and House
with small majorities.
  1 The entire Advisory Staff was also present.

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