Diebold Jr., William
January 1967
Foreign Affairs;Jan1967, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p291
This article focuses on the changes in foreign trade policies of the U.S. Unless there is a new legislation, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower will, at midnight on June 30, 1967, lose his power to cut U.S. tariffs in trade bargains with other countries. Eleven times already the country has faced the question of renewing the grant of power first made in the Trade Agreements Act of 1934. Each time, the U.S. Congress has prolonged the power, sometimes enlarging and sometimes reducing it. Tariffs on trade among the industrial countries have been reduced much more than is generally realized. Many are far lower than at any time since the depression or, in some cases, since the end of the last century. The U.S. has quite a few rates that are one-quarter of what they were in 1934 and many that are almost as low. Within the Common Market and the European Free Trade Area, tariffs will soon disappear. The last quarter of a tariff may be what really protects, so that it would prove harder to remove than the first three quarters. A 10 percent tax can be very important in a highly competitive market also, it may be equivalent to several times that much if what is being protected is only the cost of manufacturing, when raw materials are imported at low or no duties.


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