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TRADE AGREEMENTS ACT EXTENSION
FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 1958
United States Senate,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10: 05 a. m., in room 312, Senate Office Building, Senator Harry Flood Byrd (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Byrd (chairman), Kerr, Frear, Douglas, Martin, Williams, Malone, Carlson, and Bennett.
Also present: Elizabeth B. Springer, chief clerk. The Chairman. The committee will come to order. The first witness is Mr. O. K. Strackbein, chairman of the NationWide Committee on Import-Export Policy. Will you proceed?
STATEMENT OF 0. R. STRACKBEIN, CHAIRMAN, THE NATION-WIDE COMMITTEE ON IMPORT-EXPORT POLICY
Mr. Strackbein. My name is O. R. Strackbein.
I am the chairman of the Nation-Wide Committee on Import-Export Policy.
I may say that this committee is composed of organizations of industry, of labor, and agriculture that have in common among them the problem of import competition.
If it is so desired, Mr. Chairman, I will be very glad to give a list of the names of our members.
The Chairman. It may be filed.
Senator Martin. Why not submit it for the record?
Mr. Strackbein. Yes, sir.
(The list is as follows:)
Libt Of Members And Associates Of Nation-wide Committee Of Industbt, Agriculture And Labor On Import-export Policy
American National Cattlemen's Association
United Mine Workers of America (Ind.)
National Wool Growers Association
American Tung Oil Association, A. A. L.
Seafarers International Union of North America (APL-CIO)
American Flint Glass Workers' Union of North America (AFL-CIO)
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
The Hat Institute, Inc.
Book Manufacturers Institute, Inc.
Bicycle Institute of America, Inc.
The United States Potters Association
Atlantic Fishermen's Union (AFL-OIO)
American Lace Manufacturers Association, Inc.
International Photo Engravers' Union of North America (AFL-CIO)
California Walnut Growers Association
California Almond Growers Exchange
Pin, Clip and Fastener Association
Amalgamated Lace Operatives of America (Ind.)
National Association Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
United 818168 Wood Screw Service Bureau
United States Machine Screw Service Bureau
United States Cap Screw Service Bureau
Service Tools Institute
Oregon Filbert Commission
American Knit Handwear Association, Inc.
Pacific Coast Fish Producers Institute
Cannery Workers Union of the Pacific (AFL-CIO)
Cannery Workers & Fishermen's Union (AFL-CIO)
Wyoming Wool Growers Association
Carpet Institute, Inc.
Harley-Davldson Motor Co.
The Dow Chemical Co.
John B. Stetson Co.
Onondaga Pottery Co.
National Creameries Association
The Wall Paper Institute, Inc.
Reynolds Metals Co., Inc.
Hardwood Plywood Institute
American Glassware Association
Wm. Ainsworth & Sons, Inc.
Scientific Apparatus Makers' Association
Tile Council of America
Air Products, Inc.
Industrial Fasteners Institute
American Tunaboat Association
International Leather Goods, Plastics & Novelty Workers Union (AFI/-CK
International Brotherhood of Operative Potters (AFL-CIO)
The Diamond Gardner Co.
Pacific Match Co.
Massachusetts Fisheries Association, Inc.
Seafood Producers Association of New Bedford
Mushroom Growers Cooperative Association
National Authority for the Ladies Handbag Industry
American Cyanamid Co.
United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers International Union (AFL-CK
Pass and Seymour, Inc.
Idaho Wool Growers Association
California Fig Institute
American Zinc, Lead & Smelting Co.
Monsanto Chemical Co.
Young Aniline Works, Inc.
Food Machinery & Chemical Corp.
Pharma Chemical Corp.
Pflster Chemical Works, Inc.
Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association
Hooker Electrochemical Co.
American Fine China Guild
Umbrella Frame Manufacturing Industry
National Match Workers' Council
Rhode Island Textile Association
Allied Chemical & Dye Corp.
Cams Chemical Co.
Five Star Fish & Cold Storage
Fuller Brush Co.
E. 8. Mayer & Son
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.
American Thermos Products Co.
Arnold, Schwlnn & Co.
Canonsburg Pottery Co.
The Central Silica Co.
The Chemstrand Co.
Commercial Decal, Inc.
American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association
J3etroit Steel Corp.
Dolan Steel Co., Inc.
B. F. Drakenfeld & Co., Inc.
Engelhard Industries, Inc.
Fostoria Glass Co.
Fourco Glass Co.
French Saxon China Co.
The Hall China Co.
The Harris Clay Co.
Harshaw Chemical Co.
Hartford Steel Ball Co., Inc.
The Homer Laughlin China Co.
Illinois Coal Operators Association
Imperial Glass Corp.
Independent Domestic Fluorspar Producers Association
The Edwin M. Knowles China Co.
Mayer China Co.
Mesinger Manufacturing Co., Inc.
National Lead Co.
New Castle Refractories Co.
Northern West Virginia Coal Association
Pennsylvania Pulverizing Co.
Persons-Majestic Manufacturing Co.
The Potters Supply Co.
The Risdon Manufacturing Co.
Rockwell Manufacturing Co.
The Salem China Co.
H. C. Spinks Clay Co.
Star-Kist Foods, Inc.
The Sterling China Co.
Taylor, Smith & Taylor Co.
The Torrington Co.
United Clay Mines Corp.
Universal Potteries, Inc.
Van Camp Sea Food Co.
The Wellsville China Co.
Westfield Manufacturing Co.
The S. C. Williams Co.
Detrex Chemical Industries, Inc.
United Glass and Ceramic Workers of North America.
Penzac Oil Co.
Phelps Dodge Corp.
Sayles Biltmore Bleacheries, Inc.
Bausch & Tx>mb Optical Co.
Brewer Manufacturing Co.
Columbian Rope Co.
Delta Electric Co.
The Eagle-Picher Co.
Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.
McCauley Metal Products, Inc.
Ohio Rubber Co.
Wyckoff Steel Co.
Mr. Strackbein. It is the purpose of this statement to analyze those features of H. R. 12591 that we regard as unacceptable and indeed against the best interests of the many industries that would be af fected adversely by the bill's passage.
We believe that H. R. 12591 disregards some of the most justifiabl* complaints lodged against the administration of the trade agreement* program by those who have been injured by import competition.
Experience with the escape clause, in particular, has been distress ing to industries that have in good faith looked to the machinery and procedures provided by Congress for relief from serious injury caused by increasing imports.
I do not believe that the House of Representatives is as indifferent to the welfare of the many industries, miners, farmers, growers and workers that have complained about imports, as the vote of that bodj on H. R. 12591 would indicate.
This is not to say, Mr. Chairman, that the House voted blindly nor is it the purpose here to blame the inordinate and I may saj rampant lobbying that went with the bill's progress.
The principal trouble lay in the rules of the House and the par ticular rule under which this bill was considered.
This was a so-called modified closed rule which severely limited any rounded consideration of the rather complicated issue.
The limitation prescribed by the rule was unfortunate preciselj because the difference that divided the proponents and opponents oi the bill was a matter of degree. One disagreement, for example, was over the length of time for which the extension should be made: 5 years or 5 years.
Another and perhaps more important disagreement was over th< question of congressional versus executive control over Tariff Com mission recommendations.
A third difference lay in the treatment of products that are n sary to the national security.
A fourth lay in the peril point proceedings.
By forcing these somewhat varied provisions into a single sub stitute bill it was not possible to go to the merits of each partioulal point. Therefore the vote was not a clear expresssion on the timi period, i. e., 2 years versus 5 years, nor on the question of restoring to Congress its authority over the regulation of foreign commera or the several other provisions on which there was a difference.
None of these points could be voted on separately, even though eacl one was of sufficient importance to justify a separate vote.
It is therefore hoped that more detailed consideration may b( given to these points by this committee and by the Senate.
This statement will confine itself to what are undoubtedly the twn leading points. One is the number of years of the renewal. Th< other is the question of congressional authority over Tariff Commit sion findings as opposed to complete domination by the Executive I shall address myself to these two points from here on.
Mr. Chairman, our concern over the 5-year extension is very cleai and, I would hope, very compelling. A 5-year extension of the trad* agreements program would to all intents and purposes exclude th« many industries, mining interests, fisheries, farmers and worker! who take the brunt of foreign competition from making a reentry into the legislative channels for the full 5-year period.
It would for all practical purposes be the same as closing the doors of Congress during that period so far as general tariff and trade legislation is concerned.
It is difficult indeed to reconcile such a proposal with the very principles of our Government. Two new Congresses will have been elected and will have run their course during this period, without having the opportunity to express themselves on an issue that is very important to those who sent them here.
In these unsettled days 5 years is a long time—particularly in the field of international relations and in view of the great economic and «>mpetitive developments abroad, as a result of which one domestic industry after another that was previously unharmed by imports finds foreign products progressively capturing more and more of the domestic markcl.
Congress should not absent itself, so to speak, for so long a period. Constitutionally it really has no right to do so. It should be possible whenever the need for legislation arises to find the legislative channels open, and not locked by the key of a moratorium.
The reason advanced for the moratorium of 5 years is found in the desire to introduce stability into our foreign economic policy.
Other countries, it is said, find it disconcerting to be confronted with the possibility of tariff changes in this country when such countries greatly increase their exports to these shores. They will not bother to expand their markets here for fear that if they are successful we will raise our tariff or impose a quota.
Parenthetically it might be said, Mr. Chairman, that actually the scape clause cases that have been processed have not impeded imports.
Imports have gone right ahead and in fact in a number of instances have increased before, during and after escape-clause actions.
On the other hand, it seems to matter little or nothing that the l»ck of safeguards, the want of a remedy, confronts our own industries with uncertainties at least as grave as those faced by other countries when they ship goods into this country.
The House bill would have the effect of throwing nearly the whole burden of uncertainty over the future upon our own industries while "eking to assure other countries of stability.
Five years of uncertainty will greatly cripple some of our industries as indeed uncertainty in recent years has already done.
We hoped that the House would recognize this fact but were handed i nettle for our pains.
The maximum extension in pur judgment should be for 2 years. One year would be preferable in view of the present uncertainty in ta very elements that undoubtedly weighed heavily in the judgment '/ the House, namely, the European Common Market and the Russian economic challenge.
I might interpolate here to say that the uncertainty of the European political situation is such that no one knows whether the EuroMarket will actually develop or not, and the same with the