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STATEMENT OF RICHARD REVNES, DIRECTOR OF SERVICES, CHICAGO ASSOCIATION

OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

My name is Richard Revnes. I am director of services of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry. I appear on behalf of the association to present its views on H. R. 12591, the bill to renew the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.

The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry is a voluntary organization of individuals, firms, and corporations, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Illinois. It has 6,106 member organizations. Through committees and a professional staff of more than 100 individuals, these member organizations work together to improve the Chicago metropolitan area's commercial, industrial, and civic operations. Although the name of our organization is the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, it functions as the chamber of commerce for the Chicago metropolitan area.

The Chicago metropolitan area has been designated as such by the Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Commerce, and comprises an area including 5 counties in Illinois and 1 county in Indiana. In this area are included, in addition to Chicago, approximately 180 suburban or satellite communities, among them such important industrial towns and cities as Gary, Hammond, Aurora, Elgin, Cicero, Skokie, and Waukegan.

Within this area are located 14,000 manufacturing establishments, in which a total of about three million people are employed. The population of the area is approximately 6,400,000. The Chicago metropolitan area is comprised of 3,617 square miles, an area larger than the combined States of Delaware, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.

The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry endeavors to promote the growth and stability of business in the Chicago metropolitan area and improved legislation that forms the framework within which the area's business operates.

The association was founded in 1904. Funds to carry on its operations come from voluntary membership dues paid by Chicago business firms and professional men and women. About 1,600 members serve on a wide variety of permanent or special committees. Each committee is composed of persons chosen for their standing in the community and for their wide knowledge in some particular field of business or civic endeavor. Specific examples of this committee activity are the work of the world trade committee, the Canadian-American trade and industry commitee, the transportation committee, the harbors and waterways committee, and the aviation committee.

As set forth in the 1957-58 annual report, committee directory submitted with my written statement, the committees, officers, and directors of the association represent a broad cross section of the area's commerce, industry, and civic or. ganizations.

The association has supported the reciprocal trade agreements program since its inception, being among the first two chambers of commerce in the United States to record that support. Upon the occasion of each previous renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, the association committee concerned, and the association's board of directors, have considered the legislation proposed and have reaffirmed support of the program.

In arriving at our decision to support the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, due consideration is given to the widely varied and sometimes conflicting interests of our membership. The consistency of the actions of our committees and boards of directors, representing widely divergent interests, over the period of the last 25 years, demonstrates, I believe, that our support of this legislation is sound and reflects the thinking of the majority of the association's membership. The most recent reaffirmation of this association's approval of the reciprocal trade agreements program was by the unanimous vote of our board of directors.

The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry makes the following recommendations with respect to H. R. 12591, which would extend the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act:

1. That the act be renewed for the period of 5 years proposed in the bill before you. It is our considered opinion that 5 years is the minimum time necessary for the United States to develop a policy and carry out negotiations with the important new European Common Market.

2. That the President be granted authority to reduce tariffs on a gradual and selective basis, in return for concessions by other countries, as provided for in H. R. 12591.

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Dollar value totaling $873,255,000 was reported by 429 of the 557 firms. If all 557 companies had reported both tonnage and dollar value figures, it is conservatively estimated that the total tonnage and dollar value of the 1956 exports of these firms would be 3,172,226 tons and $1,133,800,000.

A recent survey completed by the United States-Japan Trade Council reports that the 5 States of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin accounted for $309 million of sales to Japan in 1957. This surpassed all other regions of the United States.

The growth of import activity in the Chicago metropolitan area in recent years is reflected by the increase in the number of importers, import agents and brokers in the area. The records of our World Trade Division disclose that in 1950 there were 483 such firms and individuals ; in 1954, 823; and currently more than 1,200. These include manufacturers that import raw materials and component parts used in the fabrication of their products, whole salers which distribute throughout the area, and retailers such as our major department stores, which sell through their own outlets.

Forecasts by responsible governmental and private institutions as to the volume of waterborne commerce, foreign and domestic, expected to move by the St. Lawrence seaway when the project and connecting channels are completed range from 37 to 46 million tons. In metropolitan Chicago, two additional waterway projects-port development in the Lake Calumet area by the Chicago Regional Port District, and at the mouth of the Chicago River by the city, and the widening of the Sag Channel connecting Lake Calumet with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the Illinois River-are underway. Within 1 year after completion of the various projects, scheduled for 1962, it is estimated that overseas cargo of all types moving through the port of Chicago should increase to at least 1,500,000 tons.

We have estimated that within 15 years after the completion of the three projects mentioned, new investment in industrial-plant facilities will reach $10 billion. Within this same period it is anticipated these new industries will provide jobs directly and indirectly for several hundred thousand workers, including 40.000 jobs directly connected with water transportation. The estimate, therefore, of 1.5 million tons within 5 years after the seaway is completed is believed to be conservative.

All of the present facts and future projections make it clear that the already important international commerce of Chicago and the Middle West requires the continuance and extension of a foreign economic policy that will result in the maintenance and expansion of world trade. The United States consistently exports more than it imports. If we are to continue to have an export business that provides jobs for millions of United States workers without underwriting indefinitely, through foreign aid, the difference between our foreign sales and our imports; if we want to bring back to this country, in dollars, the earnings on investment abroad; we must make it possible for other nations to market in this country raw materials and finished products which we need and want.

Preceding witnesses have presented in detail testimony that renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in an effective manner is essential to our national economic and political interests, that the jobs provided by our exports. and imports of needed commodities, far outnumber those adversely affected by the importation of a comparatively small amount of competitive foreign goods.

The reciprocal trade agreements program is a basic cornerstone of our foreign economie policy. The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry. therefore, strongly urges that the act be extended in an effective form. H. R. 12591. providing for a period of 5 years and negotiated, reciprocal duty reduc tions but with provisions for defense essentiality protection and relief from undue import competition should be passed without amendment. This, we be liere, is in the best interest of not only our members and area but of the entire t'nited States

Senator FREAR. Mr. Bernard Weitzer, Jewish War Veterans of the l'nited States of America.

STATEMENT OF BERNARD WEITZER, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE

DIRECTOR, JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Mr. WEITZER. I have a brief statement here, and I think I can save the committee's time by reading it rapidly rather than to try to comment on it.

Senator FREAR. All right, sir.

Mr. WEITZER. As you see from the text of the statement, we are strongly in favor of the passage of the bill you are considering here before your committee.

On behalf of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, I am happy, once again, to express appreciation for the opportunity to present to your important committee our views on the Trade Agreements Extension Act which you are now considering.

This time, as on previous occasions, I appear before this committee by the authority of the strongly worded resolution passed by our national convention. The following resolution was passed at our 62d annual national convention:

Whereas, the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act comes before the Congress for renewal in the 2d session of the 85th Congress; and

Whereas in its functioning through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, this act has proved notably successful in promoting American exports and our foreign trade as a whole and minimizing the frictions and restrictions which occasionally develop in the course of trade; and

Whereas we have long recognized that the exchange of imports and exports with our friendly world neighbors is an important factor in our own economic and political well-being as well as theirs and moreover contributes to our joint national security, and

Whereas we have regularly supported the reenactment of the Trade Agreements Act as a practical means of facilitating imports which produce the dollar exchange to pay for American exports to these foreign countries, and

Whereas the proposed Organization for Trade Cooperation will make even more productive, the objectives of the reciprocal trade agreements program and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved. That the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America in 62d Annual National Convention assembled at Boston, Mass., August 12-18, 1957, do commend the administration for the manner in which it has conducted the operations of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1955 and the negotiations conducted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and be it further

Resolved, That we urge the 85th Congress to authorize a renewal of the Trade Agreements Act for a period of not less than 3 years, to include in the legislation authorization for the Organization for Trade Cooperation and to refrain from tariff legislation which interferes with the functioning of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.

The membership of our organization made up of men and women who have served in our Nation's Armed Forces, principally, as citizensoldiers, sailors, and airmen, having largely returned to their civilian pursuits, continue their keen interest in our national security.

They recognize the importance of maintaining our own military strength and that of our allies in deterring war against us by a strong, shrewd, potential enemy-Soviet Russia and its Communist satellites. Our membership is equally aware that the military deterrent must be matched in strength by a sound productive economy in our own land and in all those lands which have not been sucked into the Communist orbit.

To maintain that strong productive economy and to complete our national security, the continuation of the reciprocal trade agreements program is more imperative, today, than ever.

The activities of the states in the Soviet bloc, under Kremlin leadership, in pushing for expansion of their foreign trade and their economic penetration in the free world, evidence their determination to compete in that area. Failure to continue our foreign trade policies as exemplified in the reciprocal trade agreements program would serve admirably to advance the Communists' trade objectives and to undermine our own strength.

As one looks over the figures of our export and import trade during the years 1950 through 1957, the flow of products back and forth is powerful evidence of the profitable returns to ourselves and to the nations with whom we have traded. During 1957, our exports mounted to a rate of more than $21 billion, and our imports were in the neighborhood of $13 billion.

Roughly, for every $2 of import, there were $3 of exports. From their natural resources and other materials plus productive powers of their working people, these foreign lands fashioned the products which they shipped to us and thereby obtained the dollar exchange which went far to permit them to pay for American products which required the work of approximately 41/2 million American citizens.

We, in our country, secured goods which in many cases are vital to our industry and to our national defense, and which are lacking or extremely scarce in our own country. Other items in our imports enabled our people to enjoy some extra satisfaction in their daily living and to secure more economically what they wanted.

Our own exports provided in other lands, even more importantly, needed goods and materials which are essential to daily life and which stimulated their industries. Thus our own Nation and all the nations with whom we traded as a consequence of our reciprocal trade agreements program enjoyed the benefits of the type of partnership from which all benefited and which strengthened all.

This has been particularly important to many of the newly independent nations striving for a sound economy in order that their social and political systems may be stable, and that the pressures of a low per capita income will not make their people easy targets for Communist propaganda. This factor is weighty, as well, even in the industrialized nations of Europe.

The continuing momentous forces promoting our full national security, and our world security, generated by the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act must be maintained. It cannot be expected that in this effort for strength, we will not find in the wide expanse of our industries, occasional small pockets of weakness which are exposed in world trade competition just as the free competitive system in our own country has exposed them throughout history during our advances in technology, in development of new products, and in the changing desires of the consuming public.

The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1955 broadened the escape clause procedure to take care of these weaknesses. Yet I want you to consider the record of what has happened for, as reported by the 9th edition of the United States Tariff Commission, Investigations Under the Escape Clause of Trade Agreements, reports as of February 1958, 86 applications for escape clause action were filed

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