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ters not to the executive department group which places the interests of foreign nations ahead of our own. Likewise they are not deterred, in asking for a continuance of the act, by the fact that in administering it so far they have failed to preserve the peace of the world as promised, and have perverted the announced purpose of Congress “of expanding foreign markets for the products of the United States.” On the contrary, they, have used it surreptitiously to bring about general reductions in our tariffs, thereby helping to expand the American market for the products of foreign countries rather than our own, until the war intervened.
Mr. Welles says the Trade Agreements Act must now be renewed to insure "peace, liberty, security, and plenty everywhere,” without bothering "to try to draw blueprints”. (In other words, another blank check-but blank checks went out of circulation last November.)
Mr. Welles says that the renewal of the act “will demonstrate that the people of the United States approve and intend to have their Government act in accordance with the promises and hopes expressed in their behalf in the Atlantic Charter, the declaration by United Nations and the lend-lea se agreements."
He goes on to say that once that has been made clear the rest of the world and the executive branch of the Government of the United States will know where they stand and the general policy that they can count on. They and we can then go for ard, with whatever speed and by whatever detailed methods other developments make possible, to carry out that policy."
But that is not all, Mr. Welles says: “The decision about the trade agreements authority is not the only choice, or the most difficult, that the people of the United States will have to make about the foundations of the peace. But it is fundamental, and it happens to come first in time. Our action on it will be an acid test of our intentions."
What comes next is not disclosed by Mr. Welles. It may well be some form of world government organization to which we are being committed-a political supergovernment perhaps. How else could a world-economic order be administered.
The administration seems already to have promised the rest of the world peace, liberty, security and plenty. It should remember that such a program will cost the taxpayers of this country untold billions and that Congress still has a say. It should remember also that this is not the Congress which passed the Trade Agreements Act in 1934, nor the other Congresses that renewel it in 1937 and 1940, but this is the Congress that is answerable to the American people for their future peace, liberty, security, and plenty.
The time has come for the administration to lay all of its cards on the table and to take the American people into its confidence.
It is unfortunate if the administration has made embarrassing commitments to foreign nations. These nations, however, should know from past experience that in America the last word in such matters rests with Congress--the representatives of the people.
The people expect their Congress to see to it that American interests are safeguarded, the executive branch of the Government notwithstanding.
[Signed] GEORGE N. PEEK,
Moline, Ill. Mr. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to submit for the record a letter from one of our public-spirited citizens who has given much time and attention to our trade with foreign countries, particularly South American countries.
I think his views may be of interest. The gentleman I refer to is Mr. H. L. Gueydan, who is a prominent citizen of Louisiana, and temporarily residing in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the letter may be incorporated in the record. (The letter above referred to is as follows:)
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 11, 1943. Hon. Paul H. MALONEY, M. C.,
Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: As one of your New Orleans constituents, temporarily in Washington doing his little bit toward the war effort, I wish to lay before you
a few thoughts on the reciprocal trade-agreements question now being considered by Congress.
As I see it, a Congressman's duty in peacetime is fealty to his district primarily, and then to his country, but that in wartime his country comes first; and that winning the war should take precedence over all local endeavors, whether selfish or otherwise.
The great port of New Orleans as the outlet and inlet of the vast Mississippi Valley is a most important factor in war activities, and as such we Louisianians should assist in every way possible, while doing nothing to impede its usefulness to the Nation.
In the conduct of the war and in our relations with other countries, economics, and shipping play major roles, and in foreign trade the tariff governs. The tariff had been a fixed statute, unilateral and inflexible, while to other nations it was a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Fortunately the Tariff Act was amended, liberalized, given life, made workable in 1934, by giving the President authority, with restrictions, to bargain and trade with other countries, thereby increasing our foreign trade, and humanizing and improving our relations with the 31 other countries with whom we have signed agreements. I do not believe that the President has abused this authority; on the contrary, through his Departments of State, Commerce, and Agriculture, aided by commissions, divisions, bureaus, Tariff Commission, and experts, all using checks and balances, after due hearings-he has done a good, thorough, and conservative job. He has established machinery to facilitate foreign trade that should be permanent and out of politics.
He has substituted economic cooperation for economic warfare. On the American continents he has put our good neighbor policy to work. I am told that 90 percent of our trade with the other Americas is with trade-agreements countries. But time has shown that revisions and adjustments are to be made, and the administration would like to talk turkey to other nations. Besides, we shall pressingly be in need of the trade agreements during the post-war reconstruction period. High prices, monopolies, and international cartels lead to inflation, while lower prices and reciprocal agreements open up world markets. Adjusi ments are imperative.
Can anyone visualize the economic chaos that would result if each of our 48 States were to isolate itself from all trade with any of the other States.
Even Mr. William L. Munro, president of the American Tariff League, had this to say in 1938 about the trade agreements:
the agreements are prepared solely from the viewpoint of endeavoring to increase foreign trade with the least injury to domestic industries."
Reciprocal trade agreements are a part of the war machinery, closely in accord with the Atlantic Charter, the "four freedoms," the declaration by the United Nations, and the lend-lease agreements. It is a part of our morale and that of the other Americans, that of our other allies, and that of the conquered nations, while it makes for the confusion of our enemies.
And yet I am told that there are some who would tear down these working agreements, supposedly to protect industries that wish to isolate themselves economically You may be sure that our friends and our enemies are on the qui rire for the decision of Congress on the matter. Are we united in the war effort, or will Congress throw obstacles in the way of the war machine.
Of course I consider the reciprocal trade agreements beneficial to our foreign commerce, but commerce, industry, agriculture, and all other activities are now of secondary consideration per se. At present the question before Congress is. "What part do the agreements play in winning the war and in establishing a durable peace ?" Little else counts.
Hatred of Woodrow Wilson by former reactionaries and isolationists is responsible in a great measure for the present war and scourge. This is no time for politicking and partisan quibbling. Let's go on with the war, each doing his best, while burying our hatreds for the duration. Very sincerely,
H. L. GUEYDAX.
PRESS COMMENTS ON THE TRADE AGREEMENTS PROGRAM New York Herald Tribune, April 19, 1943.
“A group comprising more than twelve hundred of the Nation's economists, rep resenting divergent viewpoints on many economic matters, have united to warn that abandonment of the policy of reciprocal trade agreements would be a national tragedy.' * *
“This is an impressive statement by authorities of repute. On the other side lies the astounding suggestion by Representative Gearhart that the trade pacts were a 'contributing factor to the present war,' because through them 'we encircled Germany.'” Madison (Wis.) State Journal, April 6, 1993.
Much of the past agricultural prosperity of America came from our foreign markets. Many of these markets were ruined by high tariff. In an attempt to set up barriers against British and European products, an effort to protect the American farmer, there was achieved a reverse result. Other countries retaliated by setting up similar barriers. Soon the walls were so high that few could climb them, and American agriculture suffered a decline that lasted for more than a decade.
“Unfortunately, in the past, the dairy industry generally opposed these agreements. Today the more enlightened farmer approves their principle. Already they have offered many advantages to American agriculture, industry, and business generally.
Lend-lease is not permanent. People abroad cannot continue to buy American cheese after the war unless they can pay for it. They cannot pay for it unless we enable them to establish credits here. That involves finding something the English can make better than we, reduce the tariff through trade agreements, and establish the needed credits.
“Beiore the high tariffs of 1932 the British bought many of our agricultural products. When our tariffs shut them out, they established a system of mutual preferences under which Dominion products got a lower tariff rate than did
Our high tariffs merely cut the economic throat of many an American farmer. Charlotte News, April 15, 1943.
“There can be no wider basis for international cooperation after the war than the continuation and enlargement of reciprocal trade agreements between virtually all nations Boston Christian Science Monitor, April 14, 1943.
Extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act is now being considered by Congress. At no time in the years since the program began has it been more important for Americans to show themselves clearly behind this act than now. At no time have the implications of American acceptance or rejection of the program been so weighted with significance. Little Rock Gazette, April 14, 1943.
If there is one economic truth that is impregnably established it is that a highly industrialized Nation like the United States can maintain needed foreign markets for its enormous production only through two-way trade, by exchanging goods with its foreign customers. Indianapolis News, April 15, 1933.
* Considering the interest in post-war planning for world peace which has lately been manifest in both Houses of Congress, and throughout the country, and the feeling that a strong flow of world trade under favorable conditions is necessary to clear away the economic incentives to war, it appears likely that authority to continue the pacts another 3 years will be granted. The Hull argument that the policy is essential to hoth the war and the adjustments of the peace is powerful and probably will be effective." Philadelphia Record, April 18, 1943.
Our friends and our enemies—are watching to see what Congress does with the reciprocal trade treaty program as an index of things to come in post-war Washington.
"If the administration wins, it will be taken as a sign that prejudice and whimsy are not driving the Nation back toward isolation. If the administration losesother nations will keep their fingers crossed on any further commitments we may make. Kahoka (Mo.) Gazette-Herald, April 16, 1943.
These reciprocal trade pacts are not agreeable to the interested group committed to the theory and practice of 'protective tariff,' a boon to the manufacturer and the doom of the American consumer. Reciprocal trade is the natural enemy of protective tariff and the natural friend of the masses and the
handmaid of economic and amiable exchange of goods as between the agreeing nations of the world Minneapolis Star Journal, April 7, 1943.
Renewal of Executive authority to make agreements which will ease and stimulate world trade after the war is a step toward creating new opportunities for private enterprise_such new opportunities as Eric Johnston, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, pointed out in the Twin Cities yesterday that private enterprise must have if it is to lead the way to full employment and higher living standards.
"Those who oppose the reciprocal-trade principle are in fact asking for an increasing measure of Government control of international trade after the war, to the detriment of private enterprise.
"They are ignoring the elemental fact that if the free enterprise system is to function effectively, it must, first of all, be kept free to venture, to risk, to develop, to lead the way.
“The action Congress takes on renewal of the Trade Agreements Act will be one of the prime factors in determining whether pre-war and wartime controls over individual enterprise, in the international field, shall be demobilized or tightened when the war is won." Manchester (N. H.) Union, April 14, 1943.
* Meanwhile, the Reciprocal Trade Act has become a sort of signpost of international relations, an assurance that the United States will not relapse into narrow isolation after the war.
“Under such conditions, a repudiation of the act by refusing to renew it again could not fail to indicate to other countries that the United States is not inclined to share in a program of world cooperation. Obviously, at such a time the issue rises above partisan consideration and becomes a national matter. Any attempt to play politics with it would merit the severest public denunciation. Newark Evening News, April 12, 1943.
There are intimations that the President will ask Congress under the extension of the reciprocal trade agreement authority to give him power, when circumstances prompt its use, to reduce scheduled tariffs by 75 percent, as contrasted with 50 percent at present. In the spread between 50 and 75 is latitude enough for party division, if it must find legislative expression the year before a general election. To raise in the present emergency the old and thrice defeated issue of having the Senate ratify, as so many treaties, the trade treaties, the trade pacts entered into with other nations would be sheer folly." New York Times (by William M. Blair), April 11, 1943.
"PHILADELPHIA, April 10.–Vigorous demands for continuation of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act were voiced today at the final sessions of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
"The first plea for extension of the agreements came from Dr. J. B. Condliffe of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Touching upon the forthcoming food conference of United Nations representatives and the possibility of other technical discussions for the post-war world, Dr. Condliffe declared that for all these plans a freer flow of international trade was essential.
“'Capital investment must take the form of machine exports,' he continued. 'Exchange stabilization is easiest when there is a large and steady volume of transactions. Production and trade in agricultural commodities are easiest to regulate when world markets are open.
" 'In a world of restrictive economic nationalism, national economic problems become insoluble except by regimentation. It is for this reason that stress must be laid upon the importance at this time of renewing the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.'
“At the same time, he warned that lowering of trade barriers must be carefully negotiated.
“ "The United States can, and should, use its immense bargaining power to breach the world's tariff barriers and in doing so must lower its own,' he added." Dallas News, April 14, 1943.
After the war, there will be no elimination of trade barriers by magic. It will be a slow and difficult task, requiring intelligence and experience. In the reciprocal-trade program we have formed a nucleus for such an after-war
policy. Congress should renew the act under which the trade program is conducted.” Greenville (S. C.) News, April 15, 1943.
"If the Republican Party is identified in the public mind with an attempt to defeat the reciprocal-trade policy the suspicions of its 'isolationism' will be strengthened. It will stand in the public mind as the party which wants to withdraw the country into its own economic and political shell, and let the rest of the world go hang—the same mistake that we made in 1920, the gory fruits of which we are now reaping." Des Moines Register, April 12, 1943.
"It is odd that the National Cooperative Milk Producers Federation should be rushing into the lists as the first opponent of renewing the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. At other times this would have been nothing surprising, but times have changed.
"Today, dairymen are more worried about not being able to get imported feed from Canada than they are about imported dairy products, and some rapid reconsideration of old habits is going on among them. So even on a pure interestgroup level, it makes one wonder whether the federation actually represents the up-to-date feeling of a majority of its constituents.
“On the broader basis of the interests of the country and the world, there never was much question about the desirability of carefully controlled and limited procedure for taking the tops off the worst of the trade barriers, as set forth in the Trade Agreements Act. The world-shaking events of the last few years, especially, are at last awakening people to the highly painful and personal consequences of neglecting world interests." Columbia Record (S. C.), April 14, 19h3.
The reciprocal-trade-agreement system is flexible; it encourages international trade instead of stifling it; it aids the war effort. The Reciprocal Trade Treaty Act should be promptly renewed.” Kansas City (Mo.) Times, April 13, 1943.
If it is not renewed before that time Congress will have put the world on notice that we are withdrawing from a vital field of cooperative effort. The shock to the hope of our allies and friends for a durable peace can readily be imagined. The chief threat to the Hull program today seems to come not from open opposition in Congress but from inertia or lack of appreciation of the urgency of its prompt reenactment at this moment." Wilmington News, April 13, 1943.
"With the possible exception of the Lend-Lease Act, no piece of legislation has a more important bearing on our foreign relations and none is being watched with more intense interest by our allies than the bill now before the House Ways and Means Committee to renew the reciprocal trade agreements law.” Chicago News (by Edwin A. Lahey), April 12, 1943.
A good deal of double talk will mark the debate on this legislation. It has always been so with the tariff question. But it seems clear enough that if Congress renews the Trade Agreements Act it means that the United States can reasonably be expected to work with the rest of the world after the war in the solution of world-wide economic problems.
"Likewise, if Congress emasculates the act or refuses to renew it, it destroys the economic underpinning for post-war collaboration with the rest of the world. Economic isolation must of necessity mean political isolation. Atlanta Journal, April 14, 19h3.
“How can anyone who has at heart the interests of the agricultural South oppose a renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act? Oregon Journal, April 15, 1943.
Political and economic isolationism once served America-in its internal development years, when America was young and the world large-but in the last quarter of a century it has slowly but surely become symptomatic not only of trade wars but of shooting wars. And we want no more of them. Or do we? Congressional action on the 3-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act will answer the question in large measure.”