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of Kremlin controls after the death of Stalin
have had important repercussions in Eastern
Europe. The small countries of Eastern
Europe that in Stalin's day were mere sat-
ellite appendages of the U.S.S.R. are today
increasingly able to adopt internal and ex-
ternal policies appropriate to their interests
as they see them. They have expanded trade
and cultural relations with Western Europe,
Japan, and other industrialized countries
from which Stalin had isolated them behind
the Iron Curtain. Poland was the first War-
saw Pact country to reduce Soviet domina-
tion over its internal affairs. Romania has
been pursuing independent initiatives in the
area of foreign policy and has actively re-
sisted Moscow's efforts to influence the
course of her economic development. The
ferment of change is at work in other East-
em European countries. Their governments
are still Communist, of course, and they are
tied to the U.S.S.R. by geography and ideo-
logical bonds; but they are neither ruled

from Moscow nor excommunicated when
they follow divergent lines.

Contrast the situation now with what it
was in 1948 when Tito tried to follow an in-
dependent course and Moscow mobilized the
Communist world to try to whip Tito into
line. Moscow did not succeed, as you know.
Indeed, Yugoslavia's successful breakaway
was the first major crack in the Communist

The split between Moscow and Peking and
the loosening of Moscow's control over the
countries of Eastern Europe are not the only
important changes we have seen in the Com-
munist world in the past decade. Political
and economic changes of some significance
are also taking place within the Communist
countries of Europe. In most of these coun-
tries the hand of the police has become less
apparent and less heavy. Compared with the
Stalinist period, these peoples live more free-
ly. There is a greater freedom of speech, a
freer exchange of ideas, and a growing
knowledge of what life is like in the Western

We ourselves have official exchange agree-
ments with the Soviet Union and Romania
and informal arrangements with the other
Eastern European countries. A growing
number of persons — well over 1,000 a year —
are moving in each direction between the
United States and Eastern Europe in these
exchanges. The Voice of America no longer
is jammed anywhere in Eastern Europe ex-
cept in Bulgaria. Not only is it listened to
for news and information about our country,
but it has one of the largest and most enthu-
siatic American-jazz audiences in the world
— stretching more than 5,000 miles from
Pilsen to Vladivostok.

Trade and Economic Reform

Changes also are underway in the orga-
nization of their economies. The countries of
Communist Europe recognize that they have
major economic problems, and the U.S.S.R.
and some of the smaller countries are ex-
perimenting with economic reforms. They
are trying, in capitalistic style, to relate pro-
duction to demand, price to cost, and style

MARCH 27, 1967


and design to consumer taste. "Profit" is no
longer a dirty word. They are moving in
varying degrees and by slow stages away
from centralized political planning and con-
trol over every feature of economic life to-
ward looser forms of organization which
give some modest scope to individual initia-
tive down the line.

Eastern Europe's trade with the free
world has been an important factor in this
movement toward economic reform. These
countries have had to submit their goods to
the competitive test of the world market
when they have wanted to trade, and they
have found their products wanting in qual-
ity and technical modernity. This has put
into question among the peoples and leaders
of those countries the economic institutions
behind their products and Communist eco-
nomic dogma itself.

Commenting on these economic reforms,
one of your State's leading industrialists,
William Blackie, chairman of Caterpillar
Tractor Company, noted in a recent address
that the economic changes being proposed
or adopted in Eastern Europe, such as more
flexible pricing, retained profits, interest on
capital advances, "involve movement toward
some of the most basic elements of free en-
terprise capitalism."

As one might expect, Yugoslavia, which
was the first country to break out of Stalin-
ist control, has gone furthest down the road
in opening her economy to the freer play of
market forces. But the winds of change are
sweeping all of Eastern Europe, and the
direction of change is good. The direction is
away from iron discipline and tight central
control in completely closed societies toward
greater contact with the West, exposure to
Western ideas, and internal liberalization.

What is the significance of these changes
for United States policy? Should we encour-
age increased contact and communication
with Eastern Europe, the freer movement
of people between East and West, a wider
exchange of goods and of ideas, or should
we stand frozen on the policy we adopted 20
years ago? Can increased contact and in-
creased peaceful trade contribute to the fur-

ther favorable evolution of Communist so-
ciety in Europe?

We believe strongly that it can. Our re-
sponse to the challenge of the Communist
world must reflect the changing realities
within that world. That is exactly what Pres-
ident Johnson's East- West trade proposals
are designed to do. The President has said
eloquently that we should try to build bridges
to Eastern Europe: bridges of ideas, educa-
tion, culture, and trade.

To some of our people the very idea of in-
creasing peaceful trade and contact with
Communist Europe is anathema. They see
it as a snare and a delusion, indeed as fun-
damentally immoral. Our answer to them is
that in this nuclear age it would be both im-
moral and irresponsible not to try to find
areas of agreement, not to try to reduce
suspicion, tensions, and hostility that can
spill over into violence, not to try to encour-
age the further opening of the Iron Curtain
and the movement toward economic and
political liberalization in Communist Europe.

Perspective on Role of Trade

And this is where trade has an impor-
tant role to play. I think it is fair to say that
affirmative action on the President's pro-
posal to increase peaceful trade would be the
one most important signal to the Commu-
nist world that the United States really
wants normal relations and peaceful com-
petition, that we are sincerely interested in
increased intercourse, in finding and enlarg-
ing areas of agreement. Such action would
strengthen the hands of those in the Com-
munist world who favor constructive rela-
tions with the West and would undercut
those who look to the barrel of the gun. To
that extent, it would directly contribute to
our objectives in Viet-Nam. On the other
hand, rejection of the President's proposal
for increased trade and peaceful engagement
would chill the atmosphere and strengthen
the hands of the Stalinists in the internal
Communist struggle who are resisting

What are the President's proposals for in-



creasing peaceful trade with Communist
Europe? They are in two parts: The first has
to do with liberalization of our export con-
trols; the second, with modification of our
restrictions on imports. The President has
already acted to modify our export controls.
He announced last October that hundreds of
nonstrategic items formerly requiring spe-
cific license would now be freely exportable
to Communist Europe.^ In addition he au-
thorized the Export-Import Bank to extend
its normal guarantees of commercial credits
on our exports to Eastern Europe.

Action on our import restrictions, how-
ever, is not a matter for executive decision
alone. It requires congressional authoriza-
tion. The President has proposed that he be
authorized to extend nondiscriminatory tar-
iff treatment to imports from countries in
Communist Europe in return for equivalent
benefits to us. At the present time, imports
from the Communist countries of Europe,
other than Yugoslavia and Poland, are sub-
ject to the prohibitively high tariffs that
were in force here in 1930. Removal of this
discriminatory feature in our trade relations
with Communist Europe would be a signifi-
cant political gesture. It would also have
salutary economic effects because it would
enable the countries of Eastern Europe to
earn dollars to buy United States products.
It would facilitate thereby that two-way flow
of trade that is a feature of normal interna-
tional relations.

To place in perspective the role trade
plays — and might play — in our relations
with Eastern Europe, we should examine the
basic facts. The most outstanding character-
istic of our present trade with Eastern Eu-
rope is its extremely low level. This is true
whether measured in relative or absolute

In 1966 we sold to Eastern Europe goods
worth $200 million. Other countries of the
free world sold to those same countries goods
worth more than $6 billion. Germany's ex-

' For text of President Johnson's address at New
York, N.Y., on Oct. 7, 1966, see Bulletin of Oct.
24, 1966, p. 622.

ports to Eastern Europe are six times ours;
France and Canada each sell more than twice
as much as we do; and even Japan, geo-
graphically more distant, sells more than
the United States.

Agricultural Sales to Eastern Europe

A second important characteristic of our
present trade with Eastern Europe is the
large proportion of agricultural products
in our total exports. In 1965 five commod-
ities made up more than half of the total:
tallow, hides, soybeans, grain sorghum, and
other feedstuffs.

We are, of course, not alone in our sales
of agricultural commodities to Eastern Eu-
rope. Our good neighbor to the north, Can-
ada, sold in 1965 an amount of wheat alone
worth almost twice our total exports to these
countries. A considerable portion of this
wheat, incidentally, was shipped out over
that great common waterway, the St. Law-
rence Seaway, which is making Chicago one
of the most important ports in the United

While agriculture makes up the bulk of
our exports and those of Canada to Eastern
Europe, other countries find their principal
markets in the East in machinery, in trans-
port equipment, in chemicals, in artificial
fibers, and in iron and steel.

The market in Eastern Europe is large
and growing. Since 1960 it has roughly
doubled. It is a highly diversified market,
purchasing everything from foodstuffs and
primary products to fairly sophisticated in-
dustrial equipment. Our share of this mar-
ket is very small indeed, barely 3 percent,
narrow in product coverage, and declining in
relative terms.

It is clear from these facts that the United
States is not an important factor in trade
with Eastern Europe. Even if all our trade
were cut off, it would not affect in any sig-
nificant way the economic position of East-
ern Europe. It is also clear that, with few
exceptions, the only economic effect of our
restrictions is to cede the business to our

MARCH 27, 1967


So much for the present. What about the
future? What are the possibilities for in-
creased trade with Eastern Europe?

Growing Market for Consumer Durable Goods

While I doubt our trade with Eastern
Europe will ever be vast, I believe a signifi-
cant increase from present levels is possible.
Given active promotional efforts and removal
of present barriers, I believe it is quite rea-
sonable to expect a level of United States ex-
ports of around $500 million within several
years. Exports at this level would still be
very small in relation to our total exports,
which this year will probably exceed $30
billion. But even in this age of astronomical
figures, $500 million is hardly in the category
of petty cash.

In this connection I should note that the
market for consumer durable goods and for
plants to make such goods is growing vigor-
ously in Communist Europe. The most strik-
ing example is the Soviet contract with the
Italian Fiat Company for construction of an
$800 million passenger automobile plant in
the Soviet Union. This in itself represents
a sizable allocation of resources for peaceful
uses, but more will follow to provide the
roads, service stations, repair facilities, and
the like to keep the cars running. We have
only to look at the vast automobile show in
progress here in this amphitheater to ap-
preciate the profound effects on the use of a
nation's resources that follow over time from
putting consumers on wheels. This growing
attention to consumer needs is a heartening
development in the Communist countries, one
that we welcome and should support through

Only yesterday a unanimous report was
published on "The Fiat-Soviet Auto Plant
and Communist Economic Reforms" by four
members — two from each party — of the
House of Representatives Subcommittee on
International Trade. The report was made
after 3 months of intensive study, including
on-the-spot investigation in Italy, Yugoslavia,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Soviet
Union. In evaluating the potential sale of as

much as $50 million of United States ma-
chine tools and equipment to the Fiat Com-
pany for the Soviet plant, the report stated:

From the standpoint of the United States, an ex-
port of this kind has to be viewed in light of the
following facts: (a) machine tools of this type, how-
ever sophisticated in design, are special-purpose
equipment that will represent a considerable expense
and will have to be assigned directly to automotive
production; (b) these tools will be utilized to help
broaden the commitment of the Soviet Union to the
production of a resource-intensive, highly popular
consumer product; (c) direct Soviet expenditures
on the expansion of auto production must be recog-
nized as perhaps only the beginning of that Govern-
ment's involvement in an enlarged outlay of re-
sources in the consumer sector.

Case for Modifying U.S. Trade Controls

Significantly, another congressional group
only 2 weeks ago reported on its findings fol-
lowing a study mission to Europe. This re-
port was made by six members of the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs.^ I should like
to read to you one brief section that I think
admirably sums up the case for modifying
our trade controls. The statement expresses
the views of five of the six members, three
Democrats and two Republicans.

Our policy of trade restraints does, however, deny
American farmers and manufacturers the opportu-
nity to compete for markets in Eastern Europe. It
restricts American presence in that part of the
world and isolates us from contact with the people
of Eastern Europe. And, by doing this, it diminishes
whatever influence we could exert to promote the
development of those countries in the direction of
economic and political liberalization. For although
the volume of our exports to Eastern Europe is un-
likely to rise dramatically, the opportunity for a
moderate expansion of trade in nonstrategic com-
modities is there. And we believe that grreater ex-
posure to American goods, personnel, and methods,
can help to stimulate demand for consumer goods in
Eastern Europe and put increased pressure on the
governments of that area to reduce the portion of
their national resources being devoted to military

The East-West trade legislation we are
proposing for enactment by the Congress
would not automatically extend nondiscrim-

' "Our Changing Partnership With Europe," re-
port of the Special Study Mission to Europe, 1966
(H. Doc. 26, 90th Cong., 1st sess., Feb. 22, 1967).



inatory tariff treatment to Communist
Europe.* It would authorize the President to
negotiate for the extension of such treatment
only when he believes it to be in the national
interest and when he can obtain adequate
return benefits.

The kinds of reciprocal benefits we would
seek through such bilateral commercial
agreements would vary from country to
country. In addition to direct trade benefits,
they might include provisions for the settle-
ment of commercial disputes; the facilitation
of travel by United States businessmen; the
protection of United States copyrights, tech-
nology, and other industrial property rights;
assurances to prevent trade practices injuri-
ous to United States labor and industry. At
the same time, the ability to expand trade
relations would facilitate our efforts to obtain
settlement of financial claims and more satis-
factory arrangements in cultural and infor-
mation programs.

We believe there is a compelling case both
on the broadest political grounds and on the
narrower grounds of economic self-interest
to expand peaceful trade with Communist
Europe. Some American firms, however, are
holding back from trade with Eastern Eu-
rope because of the fear of possible criticism
damaging to their domestic markets and cor-
porate reputation when they contemplate
such trade. In order to make this Govern-
ment's position perfectly clear to American
businessmen, the Secretaries of State, De-
fense, and Commerce joined in a statement
that has been given wide circulation.^ They

. . . your Government regards commerce in peace-
ful goods with the countries of Eastern Europe, in-
eluding the Soviet Union, as completely compatible
with our national interest. No American business
enterprise should be penalized for purchasing or
selling such goods. In fact, any individuals or groups
that seek to intimidate, boycott, blacklist, use or

threaten economic reprisals against such American
enterprises for carrying on lawful trade with East-
ern European countries act harmfully and irrespon-
sibly. To yield to such groups is to encourage capri-
cious interference with the vital processes of our
Constitutional Government — interference that could
at the end of the road make it impossible for our
country to conduct a coherent foreign policy.

We have lived with the cold war for some
two decades, and it is difficult to modify atti-
tudes even in the face of change. It is even
more difficult at this moment in time when we
are fighting in Viet-Nam and the countries of
Communist Europe are giving support to our
opponents. But we believe it is just in this
situation that we should do everything we can
to demonstrate to the Soviet Union and the
other countries of Eastern Europe that their
true interests lie not in attempts at aggres-
sive expansion but in seeking the well-being
of their people through peaceful means.

As Secretary Rusk has said: ^ "It is too
late in history to maintain intractable hos-
tility across the entire range of relationships.
. . . even at a time when there are difficult
and painful and even dangerous issues be-
tween us, it is necessary in the interest of
Homo sapiens for the leaders on both sides
to explore the possibilities of points of agree-
ment, whether in small matters or large, to
see whether some progress might be made
even when total progress is denied us."

■* For background and text of the proposed legis-
lation, see Bulletin of May 30, 1966, p. 838.
» Ibid., Nov. 1, 1965, p. 700.

Mr. Roth Named Representative
for Trade Negotiations

The Senate on February 28 confirmed the
nomination of William Matson Roth to be
Special Representative for Trade Negotia-
tions. (For biographic details, see White
House press release dated January 26.)

' In an address before the Executives Club of
Chicago on Nov. 30, 1966.

MARCH 27, 1967



Human Rights Conventions

Statement by Arthur J. Goldberg

U.S. Representative to the United Nations ^

It is a great pleasure to be here today. I
very much appreciate the chance to take
part in the opening hearings on three im-
portant international conventions on human
rights: those concerning slavery, forced
labor, and the political rights of women.^ The
United States participated in the drafting
of all three conventions and has lent them
its support at various stages of their prepa-
ration. It was only after a careful review by
the executive branch that they were sub-
mitted to the Senate in July of 1963.

As you know, the administration strongly
supports ratification of these conventions. It
believes them to be important agreements to
which the United States should adhere. For
they not only are consistent with the tra-
ditional values and ideals of this country;
they express the same profound concern for
human rights that has come to be recognized
everywhere as the hallmark of the United
States. I believe we should welcome the op-
portunity to participate in agreements re-
flecting our high standards on an interna-
tional scale.

Indeed, adherence to these conventions
would underscore the fact that the United

' Submitted to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Hu-
man Rights of the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations on Feb. 23 (U.S./U.N. press release 18).
The complete hearings will be published by the

' For texts of the conventions, see Bulletin of
Aug. 26, 1963, p. 323.

States is concerned with the realization of
human rights not only within its shores but
throughout the world. In recent years we in
this country have been engaged domestically
in a tremendous effort to advance the rights
of our citizens through the processes of
law. And that effort, which quite rightly has
held the attention of men everywhere, has
reaped tremendous gains for the people of
the United States. I do not believe, however,
that we can now rest upon these domestic
victories and disclaim interest in the same
evils abroad that we have abrogated at home.
It is only fitting that a country which has
taken such great strides should play a lead-
ing role in the attempt to see human rights
respected in all sectors of the globe.

I would point out, too, that ratification of
these conventions would accord with our
commitment to the Charter of the United
Nations and to the principles for which it
stands. Indeed, one of the main purposes of
the United Nations is to achieve interna-
tional cooperation in solving the kinds of
problems with which these conventions are
concerned. Countless times the United States
has spoken publicly in support of the charter ,
and specifically in support of its human ||
rights provisions. Why should we hesitate
to ratify conventions that give such pro-
visions a real meaning and force?

I must emphasize that I am not speaking
of purely altruistic reasons for ratification



but in teiins of our immediate national in-
terest. Concern for the welfare of all peoples
is a principal feature of our foreign policy.
1 But if the United States is not interested
enough in human rights to participate in
even modest and broadly supported interna-
tional conventions, what will be the attitude
of those many countries who look to us for
guidance and advice? Our views and our
declarations will not be taken seriously.

And there is a practical consideration of
perhaps even greater importance. Experience
has taught us to seek the roots of most po-
litical frictions and disputes in social abuses
— 'discrimination, arbitrariness, inhumanity.
We have learned that until these abuses are
eradicated, until a high minimum standard
for the observance of human rights prevails
throughout the world, we shall not see the
dawn of a truly peaceful day. It was Presi-
dent Kennedy who so eloquently put this
thought in the form of a question: ^

... is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a
matter of human rights — the right to live out our
lives without fear of devastation — the right to
breathe air as nature provided it, the right of future
generations to a healthy existence?

I do not say that these present conventions
are a panacea or even that they will guaran-
tee complete solutions for the problems to
which they are addressed. But I do say that
they constitute steps in the proper direction
and that the United States has a strong in-
terest in taking such steps.

It is sometimes forgotten that the United
States has already taken such steps in the
past, that it is a party to two significant
international human rights agreements.
These are the convention on slavery,^ which
we ratified during the administration of
President Herbert Hoover, and the agree-
ment on the nationality of women ,5 ratified
during the administration of President
Franklin Roosevelt. I submit that the United

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 88 of 90)