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Mr. GREEN. Than this, the reciprocal trade agreement?
Mr. JENKINS. I cannot give it to you now, I do not have time, but I have a better plan. A much better plan, a plan which the American Federation has supported many times. I have a plan whereby Congress, as representative of the people—the Americans themselves would determine what these agreements should be.
Mr. GREEN. We could disagree on that, couldn't we?
Mr. JENKINS. You should have been here yesterday, when a man from your own home section was here, a potter, when he outlined just exactly what takes place down here in the formation of these agreements.
You in your work probably never come in contact with that. You just take the results and, of course, I do not blame you at all; but if you were here and you heard Mr. Wells testify-you know him; he comes from your section, not far from where you come from-you would have heard what his experience is. A man situated as he is situated is confronted with bankruptcy every year, just simply because of the unfairness of the negotiation of these acts. I would build up a system that would prevent unfairness and prevent free traders from sabotaging protective tariff rates that have made our country great.
Mr. GREEN. All right, sir. I would like to see it and examine it and read it over and see what it is.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. GEARHART. We have negotiated, I think, about 30 agreements, 27 of which I think are still in effect. All of the countries with whom we have had those agreements, except four, require either prior or subsequent approval or ratification of these agreements on the other end.
Mr. GREEN. You mean in the other countries?
Mr. GEARHART. In the other countries. In view of the fact that nearly all the other countries require either ratification or approval or authorization by the parliamentary bodies, do you think it would be wrong for us to give to our Congress the right to pass upon the agreements ?
Mr. GREEN. Now, Congressman, let me explain to you my attitude on that matter just briefly.
First of all, I respect the authority of Congress, and I want to serve in every possible way to have the authority of Congress and its sovereignty maintained. After all, we learn much in the field of experience. It is a very good teacher, and we have been experimenting with reciprocal trade agreements over quite some period of time—I do not know just how long; for a number of years—and these agreements have been negotiated by the President through authority conferred upon him by Congress.
Well, even making allowance for all the mistakes that have been made and for the failure of the agreements to measure up to the height of perfection, I think any fair-minded person must say that the plan has been working out very, very well. If it is, why change it in the midst of a war?
Mr. GEARHART. Would this be a fundamental change, if we provide that the treaty should be ratified or rejected by the Senate, as was done
under the old policy, which other countries recognize as international law? Why should not we in America do things that the other countries do?
Mr. GREEN. Nobody would take opposition to that as a general procedure, but there are exceptions, and it seems to me that the exceptions should be taken now. We could not make people in the other nations understand why we had reverted to the old policy now in the midst of a war.
Mr. GEARHART. I should think they would understand that because it is their own policy.
Mr. GREEN. I am merely speaking out of experience here. I think our experience has shown that we have been served pretty well, and now there are additional reasons why we should continue that, and I think you could well postpone the consideration of the plan you have in mind until after the war is over.
Mr. GEARHART. There is one other thing. I just read in the paper last night that the United States has spent something like $700,000,000 developing its synthetic rubber industry--an industry which, if it continues, will employ tens of thousands of good American citizens in the factories and in the fields disposing of crops. I also read that among one of these agreements with Peru and the last two with Mexico they announced that they involve raw rubber.
You and I know-and everyone knows-that synthetic rubber cannot be produced as cheaply as they can lay down natural rubber on our coastal docks. Do you want us to have to fold up and crash down this almost one-billion-dollar investment and throw out of employment tens of thousands of American citizens in order to carry out that agreement ?
Mr. GREEN. I think we should count on our Government protecting us in that instance of that kind.
Mr. GEARHART. That is exactly what this Congress would do, if they would refer this back to the Congress. You would protect the synthetic rubber industry by striking out a provision of that kind.
The American automobile industry has grown to be a phenomenally efficient producing agency—the greatest in the world's history—and it started out as a very feeble organization. It had the protection of Congress and the protection of this country, and today it is the marvel
Can we not do the same thing for the synthetic rubber industry?
Mr. GREEN. I think so. I believe we can, and I think those in charge of the administration of the reciprocal trade agreements will certainly see to it that our agreements are protected.
Mr. GEARHART. But that is the amazing thing. Eight months after Pearl Harbor, when everyone was aware of the fact that the Allies had lost access to their supplies of rubber, in the case of Peru, and 12 months in the case of Mexico, they bind the natural product on the free list. That is why I think Congress should have reviewed that, because those boys down there are all wrong. They are thinking as internationalists, and you and I have got to think of things in terms of America.
Mr. GREEN. I am not in a position to get into the details of the case you have brought to my attention, because I am unfamiliar with it. I have not followed it. But it occurs to me that if we are going to change our trade-agreement policies with other nations throughout the world,
of the ages.
that should be taken up after we have finished this job that we have on our hands now. Secondly, we must trust those in charge of the administration of the reciprocal-trade-agreement policy to guard carefully and well the interests of both the owners of industry and labor in the United States.
Mr. JENKINS. If they do not do it, you will be on our side?
Mr. GREEN. They would not be fit to serve if they did not guard that interest carefully and well.
Mr. Carlson. We are going to quit immediately, because there is a
I do not know of anyone in the United States who has done more to protect the wage and working standards of the American Nation than you have. I am sure you have not changed your mind, even though you appear here and ask for an extension of the trade agreements.
I am going to ask permission to read one paragraph in the record from a report of the executive council of the American Federation of Labor upon its national nonpartisan political policy in regard to protection of wages and working standards:
To protect and safeguard the employment opportunities of America's wage earners against unfair competition of the products of workers of low-wage and depressed standards and conditions of employment of foreign countries and with which we are bound to be faced at the end of the present European and Asiatic wars, and in order to hold secure the advanced industrial relations and employment standards secured by America's workers through legislative enactments and collective agreements against competition from products of workers in countries of lower standards, it is essential that adequate and proper legislation be had to obtain these ends. We urge the adoption of this policy and procedure.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you come back tomorrow if it is requested by some members of the committee? Mr. GREEN. Yes; I can come back.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reed, said he would like to ask you a few questions.
Mr. JENKINS. I want to insert, at this point in the record, some figures and some statements with reference to this matter, Mr. Chairman. I want to do it after I have a chance to
them. The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Without objection, you may do that.
(Under leave above given, Mr. Jenkins submitted the following statement :)
Mr. Green, in his testimony, makes it clear that he was testifying for himself and not under the order and direction of the American Federation of Labor. At this point I wish to insert a statement showing the position which the American Federation of Labor took at a session of its executive council in 1938. This statement very emphatically opposes the enactment and the extension of reciprocal trade treaties. The following is a copy of the resolutions adopted by the American Federation of Labor as they appear on page 1369, of volume 2 of the hearings on this matter before this committee in 1940.
(Taken from p. 1369 of vol. 2 of hearings on H. J. Res. 407, Reciprocal Trade Agreements
RESOLUTION UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED BY EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF LABOR, EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MINUIES APRIL 25 to May 5, 1938, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Whereas the provisions of reciprocal trade treaties negotiated by the State Department with foreign nations affect very vitally both the economic conditions of American workers and unemployment and there are many organizations, representing thousands of workers, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor which are seriously affected by these trade treaties and for that reason are deeply interested in their provisions; and
Whereas the economic and industrial interests of these workers demand that the American Federation of Labor exercise all efforts possible to prevent the importation of goods from foreign countries, under the provisions of reciprocal trade treaties, where lower wages, longer hours, and lower living standards prerail that exists in competing industries within the United States : Therefore be it
Resolved, That the executive council of the American Federation of Labor ex. presses its opposition to reciprocal trade treaties which discriminate against American workers. We are opposed to reciprocal trade treaties provisions which provide for importation of goods and merchandise which, because of low labor costs abroad, are sold at a lower price than the same goods and merchandise produced by workers in the United States where wages and conditions of labor are established on a higher standard than those which prevail abroad; and be it further
Resolved, That a committee representing the American Federation of Labor be accorded the privilege of presenting labor's point of view relating to the provisions of reciprocal trade agreements affecting labor before said agreements are negotiated and ratified.
Mr. JENKINS. I wish also to insert a copy of a letter written by Mr. Green on August 2, 1938, which appears on pages 1369 and 1370 of volume 2 of the hearings before the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives in 1940:
[P. 1369 of vol. 2 of hearings on H. J. Res. 407, Reciprocal Trade Treaties)
AUGUST 2, 1938. Mr. I. M. ORNBURN, Secretary, Union Label Trades Department,
American Federation of Labor, Washington, D. O. DEAR SIR AND BROTHER : Because I fear a wrong impression may have been made by the press statement which was issued by the publicity department of the American Federation of Labor relating to the exportation of lumber and logs from the Northwest section of our country I deemed it advisable to transmit to you this communication.
There has been no change whatever in the position of the American Federation of Labor toward the policy pursued by the State Department in its policy of negotiating reciprocal trade agreements. We entertain the definite opinion in the negotiation of reciprocal trade agreements that the economical and industrial interests of the workers employed in all industries and particularly in those which suffer most from the importation of goods from abroad should be properly and adequately protected.
I assure you that the American Federation of Labor is deeply interested in the work of the committee, of which you are chairman, and in the presentation of the position of the American Federation of Labor to the representatives of the State Department engaged in negotiating reciprocal trade agreements, the efforts of your committee will be given the support and assistance of the American Federation of Labor. Very truly yours,
President, American Federation of Labor. Mr. JENKINS. The following is a list of unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor which were recorded in the 1940 hearings as being opposed to the further extension of reciprocal trade treaties:
National and international unions, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, the membership of which are affected by the importation of competitive products of workers in foreign nations.
Boot and Shoe Workers Union.
International Photo-Engravers Union.
American Wire Weavers Protective Association.
Among unions directly affiliated with the American Federation of Labor whose membership are also seriously affected are those employed in aluminum, cement, lace, distillery, and other industries.
The metal trades department of the American Federation of Labor, through its president, John Frey, appeared at the hearing on the British trade treaty and opposed any reductions on items in which members of unions in the metal trades department were employed.
Mr. JENKINS. I wish also to insert in the record at this point a table showing exports and imports and also a statement made by Mr. James M. Duffy at the former hearing before this committee.
(The table is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF JAMES M. DUFFY, EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO, REPRESENTING THE
NATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF OPERATIVE POTTERS AND THE AMERICAN WAGE EARNERS' PROTECTIVE CONFERENCE
Mr. COOPER. Please state your name, address, and the capacity in which you appear.
Mr. DUFFY. My name is James M. Duffy, East Liverpool, Ohio, representing the
Mr. COOPER. About how much time do you want?
Mr. COOPER. Without objection, you are recognized to proceed for 10 minutes without interruption.
Mr DUFFY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, in appearing before you today I am presenting the views of the officers and members of the National Brotherhood of Operative Potters, representing some 96 percent of the workers