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Unless restricted, imports of Japanese stainless-steel flatware will exceed United States manufacturers' stainless-flatware sales in 1958.
1 Reports to Stainless Steel Flatware Association by 12 domestic producers (85 percent industry Tariff Commission report January 1958).
'1953-56 U. 8. Tariff Commission report, January 1958. 1957 estimate see below.
* As stainless steel flatware Imports are not separately reported by U. S. Bureau of Census^ 1957 imports must be estimated. The Tariff Commission determined that actual imports of Japanese stainless flatware were 27 percent greater than quantity reported by Japanese Ministry of Finance in 1956. This same ratio was used to estimate probable actual Imports of Japanese stainless steel flatware in 1957.
Tariff Commission determined actual imports of Japanese stainless steel flatware greatly in excess of Japanese Ministry of Finance reports of exports to United States.
'As stainless steel flatware imports are not separately reported by U. S. Bureau of Census, 1957 imports must be estimated. The Tariff Commission determined that actual Imports of Japanese stainless flatware were 26 percent greater than quantity reported by Japanese Ministry of Finance in 1956. This same ratio was used to estimate probable actual Imports of Japanese stainless steel flatware in 1957.
Compiled by United States Manufacturers of stainless steel flatware, silver-plated flatware, and sterling silver flatware, Feb. 12,1958.
(Whereupon, at 4: 20 p. m., the committee was recessed to reconvene at 10 a. m., Monday, June 30,1958.)
TRADE AGREEMENTS ACT EXTENSION
Monday, June 30, 1958
United States Senate,
Washington, D. C.
The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10: 00 a. m., in room 312, Senate Office Building, Senator Clinton P. Anderson presiding. (Th( Chairman was absent due to illness in his immediate family.)
Present: Senators Anderson, Kerr, Frear, Douglas, Martin, Williams, Carlson, and Bennett.
Also present: Elizabeth B. Springer, chief clerk.
Senator Anderson. The committee will be in order.
Before we take the other witnesses, Senator Carlson has a statelent that he wishes to put in the record.
Senator Carlson. Mr. Chairman, I wish to introduce Mr. Gordon P. Roles, who is director of the export program for the Millers' Naional Federation. It is necessary that Mr. Boles leave for another neeting and I ask that he may be permitted to file his statement.
The reciprocal trade agreements program and our foreign program, renerallv, are most important to the wheat producers and the flournilling Industry of this Nation. Mr. Boles will discuss this in detail.
For some years I have been interested in expanding the exports of low, based on what I call a truly reciprocal trade program. For Distance, we have several countries in the Caribbean area from which W import sugar and they in turn have been taking milled products from the United States. This has worked to the advantage of both tie foreign country and our own domestic economy.
iHiring recent months, barriers against the importation of flour are •hreatening this fine relationship we have enjoyed. This is particularly me with Haiti and Cuba. In Haiti, for instance, the duty on imported fc«rha« increased 2% times, from $5.46 to $13.65 on a 200-pound bag, flaking it among the highest, if not the highest, in the world. Obfiously, no exporting miller could compete with local operations under Iheae circumstances.
I mention this particular instance because Haiti is one of the countries where we have enjoyed a very fine trade of sugar imports and W exports.
Mr. Boles will discuss the importance of flour milling and foreign Mrkets for flour in his appearance before us.
STATEMENT OF GORDON P. BOALS, DIRECTOR OF EXPORT PROGRAMS, MILLERS' NATIONAL FEDERATION
Mr. Boals. The chairman and members of the committee, the Millers' National Federation welcomes this opportunity to record its position in support of H. R. 12591, an act to extend the authority of the President to enter into trade agreements under section 350 of the Tariff Act of 1930? as amended, and for other purposes.
The federation is the national trade asosciation of the wheat flour milling industry of the United States. Its members account for approximately 85 percent of the flour produced in the United States and almost 100 percent of the flour exported from this country. There are flour mills in 39 of the 48 States and in the District of Columbia which in 1957 processed around 550 million bushels of wheat.
The federation has had a long and consistent record in support of the reciprocal trade-agreements program. Its continuing support is based primarily on its belief that a high level of foreign trade is in the national interest of the United States and that the trade-agreements program helps to maintain and expand United States foreign trade.
It is also based on much practical experience in developing foreign markets and with the many difficult problems associated with tract? restrictions and import controls throughout the world with which the federation and its members doing export business are frequently confronted.
In this connection, it may be useful to point out that wheat flour has been exported regularly from the United States for over 100 years so that it may truly be regarded as a traditional export based on economic advantage. It is also one of the few commodities that is shipped regularly each month to an unusually large number of foreign markets.
Some wheat flour is exported monthly to around 90 to 100 countries or island areas in tne free world. Thus from the standpoint of the long historical period of export, the frequency of shipments, and the large number of countries involved, wheat flour provides Sb unusual example of a United States commodity that has been and continues to be on the frontline in facing all types and descriptionsol trade problems and restrictions and in the day to day operations o^ the trade-agreements program.
Based on this experience, the federation would like to make th« following specific observations and recommendations regarding H. R 12591. It will be noted that they are directed to two aspects abonl the trade-agreements program that our industry believes should receive special attention at this time. The first relates to the need form newal for a 5-year period while the second emphasizes the need for i more coordinated United States economic policy regarding foreiirs trade.
1. Need for renewal for a 5-year period.
The federation favors the 5-year extension of the act. This fe U important and necessary feature in order to accomplish the constrno tive objectives of the program.
We have noted repeatedly the difficulties of trade negotiations, articularly on a multilateral basis, when the act has been renewed or a limited period.
With the limited negotiating authority for tariff rates as provided mder the bill, the longer effective period of the act appears even more ecessary. Our experience with the 1955 act, for example, which irovided for a maximum negotiating authority of 15 percent during be 3-year period of the act (of which 5 percent per year was periissive), was that relatively few significant concessions could be ob»ined by the United States. Other countries were not interested in ranting many significant concessions if the maximum United States oncession amounted to 10 or 15 percent.
The federation submitted requests for many country adjustments in rade restrictions in regard to wheat flour. We believe that they fere practical and constructive but the results of the 1956 GATT egotiations in Geneva were certainly disappointing in this regard, 'he 5-year extension would permit the possibility of making some urther progress in negotiating with foreign countries about many f our existing trade restrictions and barriers.
There are continually new problems and country situations also rising that are not covered by existing trade agreements. Without be possibility of supplemental or new negotiations, as would be ermissive under the extension of the act, there is presently no way & which the United States can effectively deal with such trade probJins.
While the United States has trade agreements with most of the irger trading countries, there are numerous smaller countries not overed by the program at the present time.
Many of these areas are presently or potentially important markets w wheat flour and many other United States surplus products but 'ithout a trade agreement or their membership in GATT, it is very ifficult to deal with the trade problems that arise. A case in point is the new British federation that is being formed i the Caribbean area. This Commonwealth federation includes bout a dozen islands of which Jamaica and Trinidad are significant arkets. They also are important sources for many noncompetitive aports as well as a growing tourist area. The island federation overnment is now getting organized and will be considering tariff ites for import commodities ag well as trade-policy matters during ie period ahead.
It would be most unfortunate in our opinion if the United States «re denied the opportunity of establishing its trade on a sound »is with this new federation area which lies almost at our door*P- Without an extension of the act and negotiating authority, *n would appear to be no possibility of dealing with new trade roblems of this kind.
Another example is the developing Common Market area in Europe. Iniost constant attention will be required during the next several tors in order that United States trade with the area may be handled i ^practical basis.
While trade agreements exist with all of the individual countries, *w will need to be supplemental negotiations in order to take ac