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Whereas the continued retention of controls over foreign trade and foreign exchange is doing irreparable harm to international trade and is a contributing factor to the present economic instability of most countries; and
Whereas the disregard of agreements and pronounced policies raises doubt as to the sincerity of the contracting parties and has a negative effect on the relations between the democratic nations; Therefore be it
Resolved, That the United States Government as well as the governments of other nations adhere to the articles of agreement of the International Monetary Fund and bring an end to the impediments, restrictions, and controls which stifle international commerce and impair the efforts to create stable economies for the mutual defense of the democratic nations.
FRENCH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES,
New York, N. Y., March 31, 1952. Hon. BRENT SPENCE, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Referring to the public hearings which are presently being held by your committee in connection with the new Defense Production Act, we understand that at the same hearings is considered H. R. 6843, a bill to place quotas on imports of products containing materials which are subject to priorities and allocations in the United States.
While we realize that defense requirements have severely in the past and recently to a much lesser extent, hampered American producers of many consumer items containing materials in limited supply, we feel that H. R. 6843 is so sweeping in character that it becomes a threat to regular and normal imports in a very wide range of items. It would place quotas on imports of a tremendous variety of commodities, ranging, for instance, from automobiles to paint brushes with metal handles.
If enacted, this bill would be in effect out and out protectionism, and we consider that it would have, due to its general character, even a much more injurious reaction on the dollar-earning capacity of friendly nations than the present import restrictions on dairy products.
As a matter of fact, the same objections may be voiced, only to a much greater extent against the enactment of H. R. 6843 as against the proposed extension of import restrictions on dairy products. These objections were given in my letter addressed to you on March 20, 1952.
We cannot think for a single moment that H. R. 6843 will be enacted, because such an enactment would deal a tremendous blow to the reciprocal trade-agreements program and to the spirit of international economic cooperation constantly advocated by the United States over a long period of years. It would at the same time indicate a serious disregard for the interests of American consumers, in establishing a virtual monopoly of the American market for many types of consumer goods.
But, in view of the fact that public hearings are now being held in connection with this bill, we wish to join our voice to that of the many trade associations which already have opposed the enactment of this legislation, and we respectfully request that our statement be made part of the record of these hearings, Yours faithfully,
PIERRE G. MARTIN,
DRIED FRUIT ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA,
San Francisco, May 1, 1952. Hon. BRENT SPENCE, Chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Dried Fruit Association of California and the California Dried Fruit Export Association take this means of submitting to you and to the members of your committee our views with respect to section 104 of title I of the Defense Production Act.
The Dried Fruit Association of California is a trade association, having in its membership both commercial and grower cooperative firms handling over 95 percent of California's average annual production of 500,000 tons of dried fruits.
This represents the annual conversion of approximately 2 million tons of fresh fruit and grapes into dried deciduous tree fruits and raisins. In years prior to World War II, approximately 40 percent was exported, predominantly to countries of northern and western Europe.
The California Dried Fruit Export Association, organized under the Export Trade Act (Webb-Pomerene), has in its membership both processor and merchant exporters.
From its inception these associations have supported the theory and practice of the reciprocal trade-agreements program. In the interest of harmony with this policy, we respectfully urge the deletion of section 104 from the Defense Production Act. From the viewpoint of the undersigned associations, section 104 conflicts with the intent and purpose of the trade-agreements program and other international trade commitments to the extent that it constitutes an act of international bad faith. It has provoked a retaliatory attitude on the part of a number of European governments. This is most unfortunate, coming as it does at a time when, operating under Federal marketing orders and with support from an export (subsidy) program instituted with the Department of Agriculture, our dried-fruit industry is desperately striving to dispose of an exportable surplus.
In addition to the reciprocal trade-agreements program, the undersigned associations have supported other measures designed to build world trade on a sound and continuing basis. The export of United States agricultural products in many ljnes has increased notably over recent years. A sustained high volume of export is necessary to support our expanding productive economy.
Accordingly, it is not felt that any category of agricultural products, or for that matter any other goods or services, should enjoy mandatory protection against import under any new specific provision in law. In the interest of good international relations, all adjustments and controls not provided in currently effective tariffs should be sought on the basis of the judicial approach provided in section 22 of A. A. A. and so-called escape clauses currently provided in law, treaties, and other trade commitments.
In view of our background of a half century of substantial export of dried fruits, preponderantly to Western Europe, the undersigned associations have constantly in mind the eventual necessity for this country's reestablishment of a balance in commodity exchange as the only basis for a balance in currency exchange. It is, however, recognized that the current world situation does not provide a foundation for the rapid accomplishment of this end purpose.
At the same time, it is our conviction that, since we have adopted a forwardlooking policy with respect to international trade, our legislative actions should be consistent with established international commitments, and uniformly fair in the matter of adjustments affecting our own industries.
And further, it is our contention that the Defense Production Act is not a proper vehicle for the enactment of import controls in that it does not provide an opportunity for the Members of the Congress to meet the issue on the basis of their individual convictions. Imports regulations are certainly not related to the primary provisions of the act; namely, domestic economic controls.
On behalf of not only the dried-fruit industry but other considerable segments of the Nation's fruit industry dependent on export outlets, the undersigned associations bespeak your committee's thoughtful attention to the considerations briefly recited herein.
On the basis of this statement, we respectfully urge your support for deletion of section 104 of title I of the Defense Production Act. This expression of viewpoint extends to any substitute proposal for any regulation of import applicable to any specific category of products.
We further respectfully request that this letter be made a part of the written record of your committee hearing in the matter of the currently pending reenactment of the Defense Production Act. Sincerely yours,
H. C. DUNLAP,
Secretary, California Dried Fruit Export Association.
DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1952
THURSDAY, MAY 18, 1952
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Brent Spence (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Chairman Spence (presiding), Messrs. Brown, Patman, Rains, Deane, Dollinger, Burton, Hays, Wolcott, Gamble, Talle, Cole, Hull, Scott, Nicholson, Widnall, Betts, and Kilburn.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
Due to circumstances beyond which we have no control, we will have to suspend shortly. The House meets at 11 o'clock, and there will be a roll call as soon as the House meets on the adoption of the constitution for Puerto Rico, and then there will be two conference reports, so we will have to adjourn at 11 o'clock, which I regret very much.
The clerk will call the first witness.
The CLERK. The first witness is Mr. Charles Holman, of the National Milk Producers Federation.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Holman, it is always a pleasure to have your views
Mr. Holman. It is always a pleasure to appear before this committee, Mr. Chairman. It is one of the wisest committees and one of the most considerate to me that there is in the Congress.
Mr. Chairman, I have a statement which I will proceed to present.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES W. HOLMAN, SECRETARY,
NATIONAL MILK PRODUCERS FEDERATION
Mr. HOLMAN. I am Charles W. Holman, with offices at 1731 Eye Street, Washington, D. C. I am secretary of the National Milk Producers Federation, which is a Nation-wide organization of dairy cooperatives composed of 92 direct member associations. Affiliated with these direct members are more than 600 local and regional cooperatives nearly all of which are engaged in manufacturing some or all forms of dairy products. Our latest
records show that approximately 450,000 dairy farm families are the owners of these cooperative associations. These farm families reside in every State in the Union except New Mexico and Nevada. A recent survey shows that these cooperatives market annually approximately 22 billion pounds of whole milk equivalent which is a little more than one-fifth of all the
milk and cream that leaves the farms in commerce. During the past year the wholesale dollar value of these products exceeded $1 billion.
Appended to this statement is a copy of the resolution of the delegate body of our federation which at our last annual convention in November of 1951 in Dayton, Ohio, set forth the position of our organization.
The federation renewed its opposition to the principle of price controls. The federation further believes that the methods used for socalled wage stabilization and price controls are not comparable and the administrative procedure with respect to price controls inflicts unnecessary hardships upon processors and handlers seeking to obtain actual compensation for increased costs.
If, however, it is the intention of the Congress to extend the present act, we recommend that the extension be for no longer than June 30, 1953, in order to enable the new Congress to review the national and international situation as to whether all parts of this act should be continued for any period beyond that time.
Also, if the dairy industry and particularly the dairy farmers whom the federation represents are to live under this act it is absolutely essential that the Congress continue in effect the following parts of the act especially related to milk and cream and their products. These parts are:
1. Complete exemption of the Agricultural Act of 1949. This act establishes a new parity and carries a directive to the Secretary of Agriculture to support the prices of perishable and semiperishable products which include milk and cream and their products,
2. Exemption of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. This act is applicable to Federal order milk markets administered by the Secretary of Agriculture and authorizes him to establish minimum prices at the producer level.
3. Retention of the Cole-Ives amendment to the Defense Production Act. This amendment authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to determine producer ceiling prices of fluid milk and cream in nonFederal order markets.
4. Retention of the amendment to the Defense Production Act which requires that no ceiling prices for milk and cream for manufacturing purposes shall be established without approval of the Secretary of Agriculture.
5. Retention of section 104 of the Defense Production Act giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to establish standards for import controls of dairy products.
În addition, the federation favors amending the Defense Production Act to require equitable treatment under OPS regulations of agricultural cooperatives with respect to handling margins.
The Federation also opposes any legislative proposal to implement price controls by the use of consumer and producer subsidies such as were employed for dairy products and meats during World War II.
The Federation would further favor a legislative mandate to the Office of Defense Production for it to so control its regional offices that there will be no conflicting regulations.
At the present time a condition of chaos is developing in OPS, due to the fact that inexperienced and sometimes inefficient regional offices are set up, with the same type of inefficient and inexperienced directors, and they are making rulings in which one region conflicts with another,