The Assistant to the President (Steelman) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: Pursuant to an investigation under paragraph 13 of Executive Order 10082, the Tariff Commission has unanimously recommended to the President the withdrawal in whole under Article XIX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the tariff concessions granted under the Agreement on women’s fur felt hats and hat bodies valued at more than $9 and not more than $24 [Page 1523] per dozen (as described in Item 1526(a) of Part 1 of Section XX of the General Agreement).1 Enclosed is a copy of the Commission’s report.2

The President must how determine whether the withdrawal of this concession would be in the public interest. He proposes to follow the recommendation of the Tariff Commission and to withdraw the concession effective December 1, 1950. Before acting, however, he wishes to have the views of the Department of State as to the effects of this withdrawal on our foreign economic relations, with particular regard to the countries with which this concession was originally negotiated.

I should appreciate hearing from you at your earliest convenience in order that the President may act promptly.


John R. Steelman
  1. For information regarding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), see footnote 3, p. 1245. At this time the governing statute in United States law regarding U.S. participation therein was the Trade Agreements Extension Act of September 26, 1949 (63 Stat, 697). E.O. 10082, October 5, 1949 (14 F.R. 6105), provided for the administration of the Act. Article XIX of the General Agreement made provision for emergency action on imports of particular products, in the event that the import of such products caused or threatened “serious injury to domestic producers in that territory of like or directly competitive products.” Schedule XX was the United States section of tariff concessions annexed to the General Agreement, most of which at this time had been negotiated at the original tariff negotiating Conference at Geneva in 1947.
  2. Not printed.