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"Remembering that United Church Women has reaffirmed repeatedly their support for the renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements and the establishment of an International Trade Organization to regulate and promote increased trade between nations;
"In view of the fact that the World Community Day theme for 1958 will be 'Exchange: Goods, Ideas, and People' which is related to world trade:
"Be it resolved, That the executive committee of United Church Women ask State and local councils that there be continued study of the need for expanding world trade and that there be support for the renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement and approval for the proposed Organization for Trade Cooperation in the next session of Congress."
Our most recent action was taken by our administrative committee, made up of elected representatives from the cooperating denominations and State councils, at its meeting in New York on February 7, 1958. The committee commended the President for his leadership for renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act for a 5-year period, without crippling amendments. They also expressed profound concern regarding the need to reduce barriers to world trade.
We speak at this time for the following reasons:
I. Our statements and resolutions are based on study of the overall problem and some general understanding of the questions involved. Intensive study of the question of expanded world trade began with the recommendations of the Christian World Relations Committee made in 1953, that churchwomen should be better informed than they are concerning the importance of the economic factors in the structure of lasting peace.
The Christian world relations committee of United Church Women believes that the following elements of United States foreign-trade policy would further world peace:
1. Elimination of discriminatory trade regulations;
2. Reduction of tariff barriers;
3. Renewal of reciprocal trade agreements with reconsideration of "peril" and escape clauses for possible deletion or adjustment;
4. Simplification of customs regulations.
We therefore urge that churchwomen first study the measures which will promote these aims, then inform their Congressmen of their opinion. World trade has since been incorporated each year in the study program.
In 1957 the study of trade was related particularly to emerging people and improvement of conditions in the less developed areas through economic development. It was found that without markets for their raw materials they could not earn money to buy machines and finished goods to speed development.
In 1958 the study has centered on world trade under the theme: "Exchange: Goods, ideas, people." We have issued a special study guide and program plans, and distributed the pamphlet, Together We Are Strong, published by the Department of State, so that the question of world trade can be studied in every possible local community.
II. Support of measures by which exchange of goods may be increased is based on Christian principles: This continuing support of churchwomen of the United States for measures to reduce trade barriers and increase exchange of goods between nations is in keeping with the basic Christian principles which we profess. While trade is a process, it affects the lives of millions of people in our own and in other countries. Therefore it is a moral question that should be guided by justice to all concerned. We have consistently expressed and demonstrated our concern for the well-being of people in the United States, and wherever there was distress in all parts of the world.
Since the beginning of the 19th century we have had a special concern for those in the less developed areas. We have established channels of friendship and service because we believe that life is one piece, that all humanity is bound up together, and that neither segments of life, nor branches of the human family, can be divided off for separate treatment. Therefore, as American Christians, we are concerned with the whole fabric of world society which conditions the lives of our members, knowing fully that our own well-being and even security in this century will ultimately be influenced by conditions affecting members of the human family in other areas of the world. We must continue to make possible the increasing exchange of goods so that we and they can both prosper. Chri tian faith has taught us that God's order is one of material and spiritual interdependence.
Political or economic isolation is impossible. Therefore we as Christian citizens have a moral responsibility to help shape a foreign policy which makes it possible
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as a nation to use our wealth and our knowledge in helping to meet the material needs of all people.
III. Our support stems from the belief that trade is related to aid and to world peace: The United States has been entrusted with great wealth. It has tremendous influence in the world through the sheer weight of its economic power. How this power is used in this criticl period of history miy determine the future destiny of free people and independent nations, especially those in less developed areas, some of which are receiving technical assistance and aid for economic development. The trade policy now under consideration to guide economic relations with other nations will affect the well-being of our own people and especially that of millions living in far distant places.
If our concern leads us to give aid for economic development, then we must be ready to find markets for the goods which new countries have to sell. Procedures as laid down in the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act make possible orderly ararrangements whereby this exchange can be facilitated.
IV. The question is of international concern: Expansion of international trade was thorougly discussed in Geneva last summer by representatives of 18 countries, members of the UN Economic and Social Council. The report was considered by the representatives of 82 nations at the Twelfth Session of the General Assembly. After considerable discussion it was agreed that further expansion of international trade is necessary to the full employment and the improvement of living standards of all countries, and especially to the economic development of the less developed countries; and that, in order to achieve such an objective, greater efforts should be made to promote free and fair international competition by eliminating or lowering unduly high tariffs and other unjustifiable barriers to international trade.
Governments were requested to continue their efforts to reduce existing barriers to international trade in a mutually satisfactory manner for the purpose of expanding such trade at the fastest possible rate.
Since United Church Women have given full support to the United Nations, it feels compelled to ask you to consider this request from the United Nations General Assembly to expand trade through the renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.
Because I may be one of the few to testify who were here in 1934 when this measure was first proposed and have followed or participated in its renewal since that time, I would like to add a personal conclusion, since I have known five Members of Congress both for and against this measure who have been from both. political parties and all parts of the country. A set pattern of support has been lacking. Each time renewal has been considered, there has been a welter of conflicting local, sectional, or specific industry special pleadings. It is true that certain industries, specific areas, and some individual towns have been and will be adversely affected, sometimes temporarily. We recognize that there is an obligation to find a wav to equalize the burden so that a few will not carry an unjust share of this burden resulting from reduced tariffs on specific items.
All parts of the country and every business interest has a stake in the present struggle for survival and we know that trade between nations is the lifeblood of a free, prospering economy essential to any foundation for peace. The renewal of this act should be considered on the basis of whether it will assist the freer movement of goods, with an overall expansion of world trade, and whether it is clearly in the national interest of the whole country.
I will conclude by bringing you a statement, adopted at our 1950 assembly in Cincinnati, which has continued to guide church women in their work.
"Whereas we recognize that the difficulties in the making of our foreign policy are extreme, and the importance of right decisions is profound; Therefore be it
"Resolved, That we urge our statesmen to judge foreign-polic issues by moral principles, with humility, mature thinking, and a concern for the needs and aspirations of all poeple; further, that they use boldness, vision and consistency in the solution of the problems facing them, thinking of their task in terms of unified global policy."
The resolution was concluded by these significant words:
"Resolved, That we inform those responsible for guiding United States foreign policy that they have our constant prayers for God's leading presence at all times."
Thank you for this privilege.
Statement On The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act Extension, By Thomas J. Watson, Jr., New York, N. Y.
I believe that your committee should approve H. R. 12591 extending the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act for an additional 5 years.
Mutual tariff reductions will make a wider variety of goods available to United States consumers at the best possible value, will provide additional dollars in foreign countries and expand domestic export and imjort ind' strierf.
The increase of world trade will contribute to the growth of all countries, particularly the less developed, who will be better able to meet the economic needs of their peoples by fuller use of skills and resources.
Stable international economic relations and the promotion of world pea^e depend on the United States taking constructive steps toward unimpeded world trade.
Statement Bt The National Council Of Jewish Women In Support Of The
Trade Agreements Bill
The National Council of Jewish Women is a membership organization of 110,000 in 240 sections throughout the country.
Our business is not in the field of industry or agriculture but in the field of supporting through well-informed citizenship those policies and programs of our Government which will further the goals of peace and prosperity for the United States.
It is in the light of these twin national aims that we have come to believe through our study of available information and our observation of the results of foreign economic policy, that the American economy and the national security and the well-being are in the long-run furthered most by an expanded trade agreements program.
There is past history to be studied on both sides of the complex questions of trade and tariff policy; the United States has had its experience of hi^h tariffs, quotas, and the other factors of a restricted trade policy. We have also in these last few decades seen the results of loosening the barriers to trade throughout the world, and most particularly with the western European nations. We of the National Council of Jewish Women believe, as a result of consistent, serious study of the results of both policies, that the policy of lowering tariffs and eliminating barriers to trade has proved itself in the best interest of the United States.
There is particular point to refer to our western European allies now because they are embarked on a great new development in broadening the possibilities of their trade through the Common Market developments. If these plans are successful they should prove of economic benefit to us too, particularly if the United States complements them through a trade agreements program which assures the continuity of 5 years as passed by the House.
We in council recognize the distress suffered by the owners and workers in certain American industries when those industries suffer loss of their marVets. We recognize that this situation is aggravated when those industries face competition from products imported from abroad. We do not believe, however, that the American economy will benefit from the consequent imposition of tariffs and other forms of economic exclusion; quite the contrary, the results will harm all Americans. We do believe that relief measures including relocation, retraining and subsidies should be offered distressed industries.
Therefore, may we urge the members of your committee, to bend all their efforts to the support and passage of a bill for the 5-year extension of the trade agreements program such as was passed by the House of Representatives.
Statement Of H. B. Snyder, Editor-publisher Of Gart Post-tribune,
We in the Midwest are looking eagerly ahead to completion of the St. Lawrence seaway which will make ocean ports of our lake harbors and bring the world's freighters to their wharves.
But our hopes will not be realized, and the millions being spent on the seaway will largely be wasted, if our national trade policy is not favorable to an expanding international commerce. We believe it is greatly in our own national interest that the Reciprocal Trade Act be extended by Congress as proposed by President Eisenhower.
The program is not a one-way program; it is a reciprocal program. It strengthen our economy, not weaken it, just as it will strengthen the econom; the nations with which the trade compacts are made. If we increase their aM to sell to us, we increase their ability to buy from us. If,we return to a restrict tariff policy, the inevitable result must be to restrict the number of ocean freighl coming through the St. Lawrence seaway to use the improved facilities now t* installed in the harbors of the Great Lakes.
The day is past when we could say that other nations of the world must 1 from us. Russia is making a greatly increased bid for their business. If we 1 their business to Russia, we lose much more than dollars. We are likely to I allies; we face the problem that now friendly nations will be brought withic sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.
We favor increased Federal spending to meet the Russian challenge. We s port an increased budget for the Defense Department and an increase in the propriations for foreign aid. For the same reasons, we support an extensioi the reciprocal trade program—but with much greater pleasure because we Th nize that for every dollar of aid it gives to the economy of the free nation* « whom we deal, there is a dollar of aid for our own economy. When we can ra a profit by helping the other fellow, we ought to be good enough Yankee tra< to do so with alacrity.
Congress has extended the reciprocal trade act for from 1- to 3-year periods* it first was passed in 1934. The President has proposed that the extensioi be voted now be for 5 years, and we wish to particularly support House hill 13 which provides for that extension.
An extension of the act for that period should hare a greatly beneficial tf throughout the world. It would tell the other nations of the world thai t could depend on us and could make their long-range plans accordingly. It we give them the assurance they need to resist the blandishments of the Soviet l"n It would put money in our own pockets; it would increase our ability to pay our expanded defense program.
Standard Oil Co., \ew York, N. Y., June 27, 19S Hon. Hakht F. Bybd,
Chairman, Finance Committee,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
Dear Senator Byrd: The extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements now before your committee is of great importance to our country. I should to express to you and to your committee my strong conviction that the hit passed by the House should be enacted into law without crippling amendia The issues have been presented to committee hearings several times. I hivl recent years, set forth for the record my own views and those of my coinpanj the subject. I send you this letter at this time to amplify those views iu cetl respects by a few points of emphasis, in the hope that my expression will be hd to the Senate Finance Committee in its consideration of the proposed eite» of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.
On February 18, 1958, my attitude on the matter was put before the Hi Ways and Means Committee in a letter reading as follows:
"In connection with the hearings before your committee on the prop renewal of the reciprocal trade agreements program, I should like to take means of expressing my opinion that this program should be extended strengthened. It should be extended for a sufficient period of time to engra confidence in our friends and allies of our continuing desire for close and frie relationships with them.
"It must be abundantly clear to us that the United States cannot live *lM today's world. We need the important stimulus to our domestic economy large and expanding export trade. We need, in increasing degree, important materials from foreign areas. And, most of all, we need strong friends and a! in many parts of the world to join with us and support us in the defense preservation of freedom and human rights. The United States cannot fighl win this battle alone. Loans and grants to our friends and allies cannot 1 the place of affording them the opportunity to grow stronger and closer t< through the development of normal international trade. From a financial su point the latter course is more efficient and cheaper for the American taxpaj From a psychological standpoint tin's course lends a dignity, a confidence »« friendliness to our international relationships which loans and grants can iH achieve.
"We have a national interest in seeing to it that other countries have the opportunity to earn the dollars with which to make payments to our exporters and investors. In connection with trade alone, United States exports including military aid shipments have averaged about $17 billion a year over the last 3 years. This is almost $4 billion a year more than our imports in 1955 and 1956, and in 1957 the export surplus may have been $6 billion. This, of course, is not the entire story in our international payments but it serves to emphasize the fact that if our exports are to continue at high levels and to enjoy normal growth, and if we are not to finance such exports indefinitely through economic aid programs, we must continue on our side to make it possible for our foreign customers also to have growing opportunities to sell to us on a competitive basis and without excessive tariff and trade barriers.
"An important additional fact that should not be overlooked is that it is estimated that 4 to 5 million Americans owe their jobs to American exports. Simply from the standpoint of numbers of individual American citizens affected by our international trade it is undoubtedly true that far fewer than this 4 to 5 million citizens may be in any way affected by our imports since sueh a large part of our import* are raw materials which are processed domestically.
"It is of course obvious that no one could advocate a reciprocal trade policy which would result in serious damage to our domestic economy or to the weakening of our national security. Clearly, advocacy of reciprocal trade must be based on just the reverse condition—a strengthening of our Nation's security, and the maintenance of a vigorous domestic economy. It is bound to be true that imports always tend to infringe on certain parts and phases of our domestic economy. The basic and important thing to keep always before us is whether the total effect of our reciprocal trade on our total security and economy is beneficial or harmful. This is not to say that the difficult problems sometimes presented by reciprocal trade to certain areas and certain parts of our economy should not receive the most careful and sympathetic consideration; but to wreck or abandon our reciprocal trade program in order to give relief to limited parts of our economy is unthinkable because of the extent to which it would jeopardize our national securitv.
"These individual problems should be considered objectively in relation to our total welfare and provided for in ways which will have minimal adverse effects on our overall reciprocal trade program and our overall domestic economy. Some readjustments in certain industries may be necessary at this time. Such readjustment periods can be smoothed out by Government help—industry by industry—on an emergency basis. It should be borne in mind, however, that many of our domestic problems related to imports are relatively temporary, and may well be alleviated by desirable readjustments in domestic industries and our country's growing need for foreign raw materials. The essential thing is to assure friendly nations both by discussion and by our actions that we intend to meet the ups and downs of growing international trade—together.
"We are convinced that the extension and improvement of our Reciprocal Trade Act is vital to the overall welfare and security of our country."
Since this letter was written I have seen nothing which seems to me to diminish or take away from the force of the arguments there presented. On the contrary, much has happened to impress upon me the urgency of the passage of this bill to cover a 5-year period. Our Nation has become aware of vigorous economic agression by the Soviet Union in important areas which we have heretofore considered comfortably within the orbit of our trade relations. Unrest has developed into open conflict in parts of the world where our relations are delicate. The leadership of the United States economically is being put to the test. The current recession makes even more important the maintenance and improvement of good trade relations with other free countries. Healthy development of international trade is one of the best ways of improving the effectiveness of the free enterprise system. The 5-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act will make a vital contribution to that healthy development.
I sincerely hope your committee will see fit to support this program.
Views Op Mb. Harvey Picker, Of Picker X-rav Corp.
On behalf of myself and my company I urge that the Committee on Finance approve H. R. 12591 without amendment, unless these are amendments designed to make this legislation a more effective tool for stimulating expanding world trade.
Within the last few years, having traveled through most of the countries of the