Trade: Mixed Bag

"Modest in scope, but significant in impact," said Richard Nixon of the foreign-trade proposals that he sent to Congress last week—and so they were. While his message reaffirmed the nation's 35-year-old commitment to freer trade, the President sought only minor new authority to cut tariffs. In effect, he promised that any Nixon Round of trade negotiations would consist only of hard-headed international horse trading.

Nixon requested tough new powers to retaliate against countries that erect "unfair" barriers to American exports, or unfairly subsidize their own foreign commerce. Nixon also asked Congress for...

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