Tariffs: Rolling Them Back

Representatives of 51 nations at the Kennedy Round negotiations in Geneva last week heaved a collective sigh of relief when President Johnson ordered an immediate reduction of U.S. duties on imported watch movements and most types of sheet glass. Politically and psychologically, the news came at a strategic stage of the talks—the eleventh hour—which have been held since 1963 under the aegis of GATT, the 20-year-old General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

When these two "escape clause" tariffs were first raised to protect U.S. industry from the squeeze of foreign competition, the reaction in Europe was, to say the very...

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