Agricultural Commodities Agreement With The U.s. (1957)

The special attention paid to the Essential Defence Industries Protection Act is given full support from the executive. The same applies to import restrictions on agricultural products, as provided for under the trade agreement programme and control rules, where the country has a policy of supporting domestic prices and, therefore, limits the production or sale of domestic products. GATT and the IMF are important forums for examining the disputes that arise today frequently between friendly nations in the area of trade and payments. These differences are largely created by governments trying to protect their countries` industrial, agricultural or financial resources, taking actions that run counter to the objectives of other nations. The commercial program is realistic and practical. It is recognized that the abrupt removal of trade barriers can lead to serious problems in our own economies and in our foreign economies. Some U.S. industries are particularly sensitive to import competition. A sudden increase in imports can have a relatively large impact on their production, profits and employment. The fact that these industries are generally located in certain parts of the country increases the scale and severity of the problem.

Thus, the U.S. government`s policy has been a policy of gradual and selective reduction of tariffs, which publicly takes into account each item before any reduction in tariffs and provides the opportunity to re-examine in the event of serious harm or threat of harm. For many specific commodities, the United States is the dominant market. Chile, for example, sends two-thirds of its total copper production to the United States; Cuba sells us half its sugar; Indonesia sells a quarter of its rubber; Bolivia, a third of its box; Brazil, more than half of its coffee production. These different components of foreign economic policy are inextricably linked. Measures taken with respect to one or more other components affect one or more other components. No one can be treated in isolation. They form an integrated whole.

The overall objective of U.S. foreign economic policy is identical to that of our general foreign policy and, indeed, of the overall policy of the U.S. government: to protect and promote national interests, to improve the security and well-being of the United States and its people. Exports account for about 9% of the value of our production of soft goods – 8% for industrial goods and 11% [page 60] for agricultural products. For many specific raw materials, the share of U.S. production sold abroad is well above average – according to current annual figures, there are about 19 percent for trucks, 40 percent for chain tractors, 11 percent for machine tools, 26 percent for construction and mining equipment , 14 per cent for coal and between 25 and 40 per cent for cotton. Wheat, rice, fats and oils as well as tobacco.