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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

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of the proposed standard list of commodities for
international trade statistics which is being de-
veloped by the United Nations.

The Congress accepted the invitation of the
Chilean Government to hold the Third Inter-
American Statistical Congress in Chile in 1953
(subject to such conditions as may be inherent in
the agreement of affiliation between the Inter-
American Statistical Institute and the Organiza-
tion of American States) .

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee prepared or approved
a variety of recommendations upon Iasi affairs;
reviewed the relations of Iasi to the Oas and other
intergovernmental organizations; approved a
program for the coordination and improvement, of
statistics in the Western Hemisphere; appointed
various committees ; reviewed the auditor's report
and the budget of Iasi ; and handled a miscellany
of other business. Of special interest was the
development of a formula acceptable to the Do-
minion of Canada which would permit that nation
to retain its membership in Iasi when the latter
assumes its new relations to the Organization of
American States, of which Canada is not a

The General Assembly received reports and
recommendations of the Executive Committee,
taking suitable action thereon: and elected officers
of Iasi for terms to run until the next General
Assembly. Roberto Vergara of Chile was elected
President ; and Carmen Miro of Panama, Manuel
Perez Guerrero of Venezuela, Luis E. Laso Itur-
ralde of Ecuador, and Herbert Marshall of Canada
were elected Vice Presidents. The Executive
Committee was instructed to review the Iasi
statutes with a view to the possibility of proposing
amendments to permit longer periods of service
upon the Executive Committee than the two con-
secutive terms that are now authorized.

Census of the Americas

The primary objective of the Cota session was
to determine uniform minimum standards of tabu-
lation of data from the 1950 census program.
Agreement was reached on a series of resolutions
dealing with demographic and economic aspects

of the population censuses and with economic
aspects of the censuses of agriculture, housing,
business, and industry. The recommendations
covered the class intervals and cross classifications
to be used in tabulations of data on all the topics in
the minimum list of subjects previously approved.
In addition, suggestions were made for optional
tabulations for inclusion in the census programs
of countries which are able to make them.


The results of the Congress and related meetings
comprise a notable series of forward steps toward
fuller agreement and understanding among the
American nations upon statistical standards and
the main lines of development to be followed in the
further improvement of statistical services.
Moreover, the meetings developed a spirit of team-
work and understanding among the participants
which may have even gi-eater and more lasting sig-
nificance in fostering international cooperation.
The meetings were regarded by the government,
the public, and the press of Colombia as having
transcendent importance for that country and the
nations of the Western Hemisphere generally.

Soviets and Satellites Protest
Seating of Chinese Nationalists
at High Frequency Conference

[Released to the press April 41

Members of the Soviet and satellite delegations
today walked out of the Florence, Italy, High Fre-
quency Broadcasting Conference of the Interna-
tional Telecommunication Union in protest against
seating of the Chinese Nationalist delegation.

The Conference, which was called to discuss the
planned usage of high frequency broadcasting
channels, rejected a Soviet motion to unseat the
Chinese delegates. Thereupon, the Soviet and
satellite delegations refused to participate further
in the proceedings.

The Russians tried to unseat the Chinese delega-
tion at yesterday's opening plenary session but
were opposed by the United States on the grounds
that the question was not within the province of
the Conference. The Russians insisted, however,
on a Conference decision.

According to members of the United States dele-
gation, the position of the United States is to im-
l)lement the Atlantic City convention for i)lanned
usage of the high frequency spectrum with or with-
out participation by the Soviet Union.


Department of State Bulletin

Contracting Parties to GATT End Fourth Session

[Released to the press April 5]

The fourtli session of the Contracting Parties to
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,
which began at Geneva on February 23, 1950, ended
yesterday with the eoncUision of a long agenda
covering the routine operation of the agreement,
plans for a third round of tariff negotiations be-
ginning in September of this year, and a searching
examination of the trade practices of participating
governments and their effect on the general reduc-
tion of barriers to international trade, which is the
basic objective of the agreement. At the session of
the Contracting Parties just ended, more govern-
ments were represented, as Contractina: Parties or
observers, tlian at any preceding session. Two
governments, Indonesia and Greece, became Con-
tracting Parties to the agreement during this ses-
sion, bringing the total number of Contracting
Parties to 26. Also attending the meeting were ob-
servers from six other governments, which are in
process of acceding as a result of the second round
of tariff negotiations conducted last year at An-
necy, France, and from three additional govern-
ments which expect to participate in the third
round of tariff negotiations and to accede if these
negotiations are successful. Observers also at-
tended from the International Monetary Fund and
from the Organization for European Economic
Cooperation. During the session, notice of with-
drawal from the agreement was received from the
Nationalist Government of China.

Next Session

The session just ended decided upon Torquay,
England, as the site for the third round of tariff
negotiations, to begin on September 28 of this year.
These negotiations will proceed among the present
Contracting Parties as well as with newly acceding
governments. In setting the stage for the forth-
coming third round of tariff negotiations, the
Contracting Parties took pains to insure that the
third round should not be used as a medimn for
raising tariffs, even though the technical right
exists for each Contracting Party to adjust indi-
vidual rates after January 1, 1951. To this end,
the Contracting Parties considered a proposal to
extend from January 1, 1951, to January 1, 1954,

the date in article XXVIII after which a Con-
tracting Party may withdraw ]iarticular conces-
sions following negotiations with interested Con-
tracting Parties. It was decided, however, to post-
pone final action on the proposal until the end of
the Torquay negotiations. They also reaffirmed
the negotiating rule followed at previous negotia-
tions to the effect that the binding of a low rate of
duty should be considered equivalent to the reduc-
tion of a high rate.

Import and Export Controls

Among the most important work of the fourth
session was an examination of the present opera-
tion of import and export controls of participat-
ing countries in order to assure that the basic obli-
gations of the agreement are being complied with
and to find means of hastening the end of postwar
restrictive measures and the earlier achievement
of the trade objectives of the agreement. In this
connection, the Contracting Parties examined cer-
tain types of export and import restrictions which
are being imposed for the purpose of protecting
domestic industry or promoting exports. In the
field of export restrictions, four types were exam-
ined, namely :

1. Those export restrictions used by one country
for the purpose of obtaining the relaxation of an-
other country's import restrictions.

2. Those export restrictions imposed by one
country to obtain a relaxation of another country's
export restrictions on connnodities in short supply
or to obtain an advantage in the procurement from
another country of such commodities.

3. Restrictions imposed by a country on the ex-
port of raw materials in order to protect or pro-
mote a domestic fabricating industry.

4. Export restrictions used by a country to avoid
price competition among its exporters.

There was general agreement among the Con-
tracting Parties that, with certain minor excep-
tions, tlie use of sucli export restrictions for the
purposes indicated was not in accordance with the
General Agreement.

April 17, 7950


In the field of import restrictions, it was rec-
ognized that even where such restrictions are
imposed for balanoe-of-payments reasons, tliere
could be an incidental protective effect which was
not intended at the time they were imposed. The
countries agreed that every effort should be made
to minimize this protective effect to facilitate the
removal of these restrictions as rapidly as balance-
of-payments conditions permit. Member coun-
tries were urged to avoid encouragement of in-
vestment in enterprises which could not survive
without protection when the balance-of-payments
reasons for such protection have disappeared.
They were urged to take every opportunity to
impress upon producers who are protected by such
restrictions the fact that these restrictions are not
permanent. Countries were asked to administer
such restrictions as are necessary on a flexible basis
and to adjust tliem to changing circumstances.
There was agreement that, where quotas are neces-
sary, these should preferably be nonbilateral and
should apply without discrimination to as many
countries as possible.

Several specific types of misuse of import re-
strictions were cited as inconsistent with the
General Agreement. Among these was the main-
tenance by a country of balance-of-payments re-
strictions which gave priority to imports of
particular products on the basis of the competi-
tiveness or noncomi^etitiveness of such imports
with a domestic industry. Another type of misuse
is the imposition by a country of administrative
obstacles to the full utilization of import quotas
in order to afford protection to a domestic indus-
try. Finally, the use was condemned of import
restrictions as a means of retaliation against a
country which has refused to conclude a bilateral
trade agreement with the country concerned.

The Contracting Parties agreed, in conclusion,
that each country should review its present system
of quantitative import and export restrictions in
the light of the discussions carried on during this
meeting and of the conclusions reached. They also
I'ecommended to each country that every effort be
made to acquaint those officials responsible for the
administration of quantitative restrictions or the
negotiation of trade agreements with the conclu-
sions reached at tliis meeting and with the specific
provisions of the General Agi-eement in order that
such types of restrictions as are not consistent with
these conclusions or these provisions may be

Balance-of-Payments Restrictions

The Contracting Parties also prepared the first
of a series of annual reports, describing and assess-
ing existing discriminatory balance-of-payments
trade restric't ions. One of tlie objectives of this re-
port is to examine the effects of import and export
restrictions in encouraging the development of un-

economic industries, thus rendering more difficult
the aim of abolishing bilateralism and restoring in-
ternational competition in trade. This report,
which will be published in the near future, indi-
cates that, while marked advances have recently
been made by many countries in meeting their bal-
ance-of-payments problems by increased produc-
tion and exports, it is still evident that they have
not been able to earn the amounts of some cur-
rencies, notably United States dollars and certain
other convertible currencies, which their importers
would desire to expend under a regime of nondis-
criminatory importation. The countries con-
cerned, therefore, have found it necessary to hus-
band their dollar earnings to be used for essential
purchases in the so-called hard-currency areas,
while i^ermitting their importers a much greater
degree of freedom in the importation of goods from
the soft-currency areas.

Mindful of the fact that the General Agreement
contains many important provisions aimed at
avoiding the misuse of discriminatory import meas-
ures and limiting any longer-term adverse effects
of such practices, the Contracting Parties ex-
amined, on a country-by-country basis, the import
procedures of the countries taking advantage of
these transitional period arrangements. Since the
agreement contemplates that comparative prices
will continue to play an important role in deter-
mining the source of imports, even in the case of
countries exercising the right to limit hard-cur-
rency imports, considerable attention was given to
administrative devices employed to carry out this
objective. Many countries stated that they placed
considerable importance on prices and other com-
mercial considerations in administering their li-
censing procedures in order that the discrimination
would not result in disadvantageous transactions,
though it had frequently been necessary for certain
countries to pay higher prices in soft-currency
areas in order to conserve their hard-currency re-
sources for more essential purchases.

Bilateral Trade Patterns

The Contracting Parties also analyzed the effects
of bilateral arrangements on international trade
patterns. It was concluded that, though increases
in production and currency devaluation have
somewhat mitigated the effects of bilateralism,
there remains the danger that bilateral arrange-
ments together with continuing relatively high
prices in certain soft-currency markets may attract
goods which might otherwise have found a dollar
market and tluis have served to reduce balance-of-
payments difficulties. It was also noted that sev-
eral countries consider that their cxjjorts have been
advei'sely affected to an important degree by these
arrangements. This was particularly em]ihasized
by countries imposing no discriminatory restric-
tions and by those applying such restrictions to a
relatively small ])ortion of their total imports.


Department of State Bulletin


Aldiiii with other husiiipss. the Contracting
Part ios

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 22 of 116)