Foreign Trade and the National Interest

July 28, 1954

Report Outline
Administration's Foreign Trade Policy
Tariffs and Trade in the National Economy
Domestic Adjustment to Increased Imports
Special Focus

Administration's Foreign Trade Policy

Revision by a Republican Congress of the foreign trade policy developed during two decades of Democratic rule was held in abeyance last year, in order to give the Eisenhower administration time to study the question and formulate specific recommendations. The President sent the recommendations to the Capitol at the end of March, four months before Congress was to adjourn, but this year again there was no action. As in 1953, the legislators merely renewed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act for another 12 months. It therefore will be up to the new Congress to reconsider the law which provides the statutory framework for the tariff and trade relations of the United States with foreign countries, and to act on other issues involved in the nation's foreign economic policy.

The outlook for the administration's trade program next year may be influenced by the results of the mid-term elections. In the 83rd Congress, President Eisenhower's moderately liberal foreign trade views enlisted more support among Democrats than among the Republicans, who were sharply divided on tariff and trade policy. Opposition to the President's original request for a three-year extension of the Trade Agreements Act, with broadened authority to reduce tariff rates, came chiefly from the protectionist wing of his own party. And the fact that strategic committee posts were occupied by high-tariff men had a good deal to do with putting off a decision on the program as a whole. Consequently, prospects for acceptance of the Eisenhower proposals probably would be no worse, and might be considerably better, if a political overturn in November should put the Democrats in control of the 84th Congress.

President's Proposals on Foreign Economic Policy

President Eisenhower in a special message to Congress on Mar. 30 set forth what he termed a minimum program of foreign trade recommendations, designed to achieve “what is best in the national interest.” The President said:

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States and Foreign Trade
Jul. 16, 2021  U.S. Trade Policy
Sep. 13, 2013  U.S. Trade Policy
Jun. 07, 1996  Rethinking NAFTA
Jan. 29, 1993  U.S. Trade Policy
Dec. 08, 1989  North America Trade Pact: a Good Idea?
Sep. 05, 1986  Trade Trouble-Shooting
Mar. 04, 1983  Global Recession and U.S. Trade
Jan. 12, 1979  Trade Talks and Protectionism
Dec. 16, 1977  Job Protection and Free Trade
May 14, 1976  International Trade Negotiations
Dec. 06, 1961  Revision of Trade and Tariff Policy
Mar. 21, 1960  European Trade Blocs and American Exports
Jan. 30, 1958  Foreign Trade Policy
Jul. 28, 1954  Foreign Trade and the National Interest
Jan. 25, 1940  Tariff Reciprocity and Trade Agreements
Jun. 11, 1935  Foreign Trade Policy of the United States
Jan. 25, 1934  Foreign Trade and Currency Stability
Nov. 01, 1930  Foreign Trade of the United States
Sep. 27, 1923  Combining for the Import Trade
International Finance
Trade Negotiating Authority