Old Issue, New Styles

A new tariff battle was on. In a surprise message to Congress this week, Franklin Roosevelt asked not only for extension of the reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (it would expire June 12), but also for power to reduce present tariffs still more.

The original Trade Agreements Act, passed in 1934, gave the President power to cut existing tariffs by 50%. In the case of some countries (especially England and Canada) the full cuts were made. Now the President asked for power to reduce the present tariffs by another 50%—or a possible total...