394.31/11–2751: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Belgium 1


778. A. Please communicate substance fol in writing to govt to which you accredited soonest:

1. US Tariff Commission on Nov 9 1951 reported to Pres fol findings and recommendations as result its investigation under Section 7 of TA Extension Act of 1951:

As result in part of duty of 15% ad valorem reflecting concession in item 1520 of Sched XX of GATT, hatters’ furs, or furs not on the skin, prepared for hatters’ use, including fur skins carroted, are being imported into US in such increased quantities as to cause serious injury to the domestic industry producing like or directly competitive products, and as to threaten continuance of such serious injury.
Application of duty on these articles of 47½ cents per lb., but not less than 15 percent or more than 35 percent ad valorem, is necessary prevent continuance such serious injury to domestic industry.

2. Rate 15% ad valorem initially negotiated Benelux Geneva 1947.2

3. Under aforementioned section 7 President may make the modifications recommended by Tariff Commission. If he does not take such action within 60 days after Nov 9 he shall immed submit report to Ways and Means Comite of House and Finance Comite of Senate stating why he has not made such modifications.

4. USGovt prepared consult re this matter accordance first sentence para 2 Art XIX GATT. In view aforementioned 60-day period request that any such consultation be carried out earliest possible date.

5. Foregoing info strictly confidential and if any public disclosure USGovt might find necessary take immediate steps give effect Tariff Com recommendation.

B. FYI (1) Since 1948 Belg has been major supplier with Fr, Italy and Arg as secondary supplies;

Additional info re basis Tariff Commission findings follows air mail.

C. Tele date your note and reaction if any.

  1. Sent for action also to the Embassies in the Netherlands (703), France (3194), and Italy (2447) and the Legation in Luxembourg (62).
  2. This is a reference to the 7-month conference at Geneva, April–October 1947 which resulted in the formulation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: for documentation on U.S. general policy at this conference, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. i, pp. 909 ff.