Business: Politics Over Philosophy

President Ford made his first major foreign-trade decision last week and came down in favor of election-year politics against free-market philosophy. In response to vigorous lobbying by steelmakers and the steelworkers union, Ford agreed to limit imports of most stainless and alloy tool steels. He directed his special trade representative, Frederick Dent, to attempt to negotiate "orderly marketing agreements" with the major foreign exporters: Japan, Sweden and the European Common Market. If such agreements are not concluded by June 14, Ford will impose quotas similar to those recommended in January by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). They would hold imports...

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