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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 960

   Mr. Clayton indicated that he was confident 'at all times that the
 President would veto the bill, because, Mr. Clayton said, the President
 is firmly convinced of the importance of creating the conditions for
 full restoration of foreign trade upon sound basis as a means of in-
 creasing employment andc standards of living. Terrific. pressure was
 brought to bear upon the President to sign the bill. Proponents of the
 measure pointed out that the'western farming states, due to political
 mistakes made by 'the Republicans vis a vis farm interests were once
 again back in the Democratic columns. However, the President was
 told, if he failed to sign the bill those states 'would revert to the Re-
 publicans. Mr. Clayton remarked the passage of the Wool Bill does
 not reflect a reversion by the American people to the splendid isola-
 tionism which followed the last World War, nor did it reflect a re-
 version to isolationism by Congress. The Bill was sponsored pri-
 marily by four groups: (1) Those who are economy minded and
 wish to safeguard the Treasury against large outlays of money by
 way of subsidies involved in the price support program in effect
 during the war. These people wished to transfer the costs of price
 support to the consumer; (2) Some supported the bill because of their
 firm conviction in protectionism; (3) Those that saw in the Wool
 Bill an excellent opportunity to undermine the Geneva Conference;
 and (4) 'Those groups of farmers who have become convinced that the
 subsidy system -of aid is not satisfactory because they are never sure
 when an economy minded Congress might withdraw price support.
 Moreover, they felt that the payment of subsidies is at its best'only a
 temporary postponement of the problem, and the time has come to
 seek permanent aids for the wool industry.
 2. 2far8hall Plan. Mr. Clayton remarked that he was sure that many
 'of the members of the United States Delegation had been trying to
 determine what the relationship might be between the'Marshall Plan
 and the ITO. The two programs complement each other. Under the
 Marshall Plan the ITO becomes all the more important. Behind the
 Marshall Plan is a recognition that Europe has a number of extremely
 difficult reconstruction problems that must be solved in order to open
 up channels of trade. One of the most pressing of those problems is
 that of balance of payments. To create the conditions for normal com-
 merce a temporary aid program for Europe had to be developed. Un-
 believable damage was done to the economic structure of Europe by
 the war. Mr. Clayton remarked 'that the damage is greater than can be
 imagined. The Marshall Plan, Mr. Clayton said, is based upon two
 fundamental conceptions. 'The first one is that European nations must
 show what they can do individually to help themselves in rebuilding
 their economic structure; and second what they can do to help each
other. In other words, they must draw up a blue print of their needs

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