Foreign Trade: Toward New Horizons

Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House and the U.S. was deep in the Depression when, in 1934, Congress passed the reciprocal Trade Agreements Act. Aimed at increasing U.S. exports, the bill authorized the President to enter into bi lateral tariff-cutting compacts with foreign nations. Since then, Congress has repeatedly extended the life of the act, and in 1958 it gave the President the power to chop tariffs, under certain conditions, by as much as 20%.

Last week, acting under the 1958 authority, the U.S. reached tentative agreement with the six-nation European Economic Community on a series of joint tariff...

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