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HY should the American program for world

trade be carried forward? This is a question that must have arisen in many minds during the last few weeks. For the United States is preparing to meet with 17 other nations in Geneva on the eighth of April to negotiate on policies affecting trade. And its preparations have been well reported in the press. Before the question that is raised by these headlines can be answered, the story that lies behind them must be told.

The American program has two parts and the Geneva meeting has two parts. The first part is completion of the draft of a charter establishing common principles of world trade policy and setting up an International Trade Organization. The second part is negotiation directed toward the reduction of tariffs, the removal of other barriers to trade, and the elimination of discriminatory practices. Each of these parts depends upon the

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1 An address delivered before the World Trade Conference in Chicago, Ill., on Feb. 17, 1947. Mr. Wilcox is Director of the Office of International Trade Policy, Department of State.

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other. If there were no trade charter and no
trade organization, the benefits sought through
trade-agreement negotiation might well be lost in
other ways. If there were no trade-agreement
negotiation, there would be no charter and no ITO.
The program is all in one package. It must be
taken as a whole or rejected as a whole.

It is important that the American people ex-
amine the contents of this package. Just what
does the world trade charter provide ! What
would the International Trade Organization do?
How would our tariff-and other tariffs—be af-
fected by trade-agreement bargaining?

The trade charter would commit the member
nations of the ITO to reduce existing barriers to
trade, to promote the further expansion of trade,
and to adhere to a code of fair practices when
they regulate their trade. Its provisions may be
summarized in a few words:

First, the charter would require the members
of the Organization to modify or abandon the
devices by which nations have restricted imports,
stimulated exports, or discriminated against the
trade of other states. It would limit their free-
dom to employ import and export quotas, export
subsidies, and exchange controls. It would re-
quire countries with public trading enterprises,
as well as those whose trade is carried on by pri-
vate firms, to accord equal treatment to the com-
merce of all member states.

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