215. Editorial Note

From May 15 to 19, 1961, Contracting Parties to the GATT at the 18th session in Geneva made several important decisions. These included convening a November meeting at the ministerial level to address three problems: 1) tariffs as a hindrance to free trade, 2) elimination of tariff and non-tariff protection in agriculture, and 3) lowering barriers to international trade for less-developed countries. In addition, a decision was made to provide technical advice and trade policy assistance to newly independent countries. (Report of U.S. Delegation to 18th Session of the Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Geneva, Switzerland, May 15-19, 1961, dated July 10; Department of State, Central Files, 394.41/7-1061)

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Beginning on May 29, the United States participated in the second phase of the GATT Tariff Conference in Geneva which marked the beginning of the Dillon round of negotiations, despite a failure to reach a settlement with the EEC under Article XXIV, paragraph 6. This article allowed member countries to renegotiate “bound” duties—those established from a single, common tariff to replace the several tariffs of the member countries—in order to obtain appropriate compensation for possible increases in rates of duty. (Current Economic Developments, Issue No. 624, May 23, 1961, pages 17-19; Washington National Records Center,E/CBA/REP Files: FRC 72 A 6248, Current Economic Developments)