Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Thorp) to the Acting Secretary of State


Subject: Tariff Commission Recommendation regarding “Escape Clause” action on “Hatters’ Fur”.


The United States Tariff Commission, in accordance with Section 7 of the Trade Agreements Extension Act of 1951, has completed an “escape clause” investigation on “hatters’ fur”. It has found that, as a result in part of the duty of 15 percent ad valorem reflecting the concession granted in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on hatters’ fur, it is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to cause serious injury to the domestic industry. The Commission has, therefore, recommended to the President that the duty on hatters’ fur be revised in a form which will result in increasing the rate to between 20 percent and 30 percent ad valorem on the chief grades imported in recent months.

Through the Bureau of the Budget a copy of the Tariff Commission’s Report, which is classified confidential, has been forwarded to the Department of State, together with a copy of the proposed Proclamation to be signed by the President giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission. The Department’s comments on the report and the draft Proclamation are requested.

The attached proposed reply states that: (1) The United States is required to consult with the Contracting Parties and will do so immediately; (2) It constitutes an interim report to be followed by a formal reply as soon as our consultations are terminated; (3) In the meantime a study of the proposed proclamation will be undertaken with a view to avoiding delay in the event that it is decided to accept the recommendations of the Tariff Commission; and (4) If, as a result of our consultations with other Governments and discussions with interested agencies of our Government it should be decided to recommend that the President should not accept the recommendations of the Tariff Commission or should take action in a modified form a draft of a report which must then be submitted by the President to the Congress, giving his reasons for not following the recommendations, will be submitted.


That the attached Memorandum1 for the President be signed.

[Page 1547]


EDT, L/E and WE concur in the recommendation.

  1. Not printed. The memorandum sent to President Truman was dated November 26. In this memorandum, the President was informed further that the Contracting Parties with whom the United States was initiating consultations included particularly “the Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands), with which the concession was originally negotiated.” (394.31/11–2651)