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Jimmy Carter: National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures Remarks on Greeting Members of the Commission.
Jimmy Carter
National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures Remarks on Greeting Members of the Commission.
June 21, 1978
Public Papers of the Presidents
Jimmy Carter<br>1978: Book I
Jimmy Carter
1978: Book I

District of Columbia
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One of the most challenging and gratifying experiences that I have had is to see the recruitment and the performance of both private citizens and Members of the Congress, members of our own administration, independent regulatory agencies, in dealing with some of the longstanding and historical problems of our Government.

This morning we're here to announce and to commence the work of the members of the National Commission on the Revision of the Antitrust Laws and Procedures.

Before I give just a very few remarks, I would like to read a list of these members who are assembled here behind me to give you some feeling of the quality of the group. They will begin their deliberations immediately, and they will make their report to me January of next year.

The Chairman of the group will be John Shenefield, who's the Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice.

Mike Pertschuk, who's the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; Alfred E. Kahn, who's the Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board; Senator Edward Kennedy, who is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly; Senator Jacob Javits; Senator Howard Metzenbaum; Senator Robert Morgan; Senator Orrin Hatch; Congressman Peter Rodino, who's the chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary; Congresswoman Barbara Jordan; Congressman Robert McClory; Congressman John Seiberling; Congressman Charles Wiggins of California; Clyde Atkins, who's the U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida; Chauncey Browning, who's the attorney general of West Virginia, and who's the president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General; Maxwell Blecher, a trial practitioner and antitrust author from Los Angeles; Eleanor Fox, antitrust professor at New York University School of Law; John Izard, the former chairman of the Antitrust Law Section of the American Bar Association; James Nicholson, former Trade Commission member; Craig Spangenberg, fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers; Gordon Spivack, who's the former Director of Operations for the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice; Lawrence Sullivan, who's a professor at the University of California Law School, and he's an author of antitrust publications. And the Executive Director will be the Smith, Special Assistant to Mr. Shenefield.

I think everyone can see the extremely high quality of this group. And they've all proven by their past interest and, also, performance, a high degree of interest and expertise in this subject.

There's a great need for reform. I have seen a list of the previous study groups that have addressed this same question. Quite often, their reports have been interesting. Not much action has been taken because of a degree of study but without a melding of the executive leaders, Justice Department, regulatory agencies, the Congress, and private citizens.

I consider this study to go to the very heart of our free enterprise economic: system. There is an inherent conflict in trying to protect the American public, the consumers, from abuse, in trying to have a stable economic system, and trying to enhance competition. Sometimes those three elements are in conflict, and it does require a great deal of study and judgment to bring about a resolution in the best interests of the public and our system itself.

There are two very important problems that they will address, among others. First, is how to resolve complex legal cases quickly. I mentioned this at some length in my speech to the Bar Association of Los Angeles County a month or so ago. We have cases that drag out almost indefinitely. They sap away the legal talent of our country that could be more productively used in other efforts. They delay a resolution of judgment and decision which works to the advantage of one party or the other, and quite often against the best interests of the public. So, how to deal with this question is one that I believe, if resolved, would have a greatly beneficial effect on the parties to the disputes and on the public itself.

The other one is to examine and recommend elimination of unwarranted exemptions from antitrust legislation and regulation. I believe that this study, the publication of their results, the acquaintance of the public and me and others with the needs for reform, will bring about a successful effort.

Some of the people behind me have already made great progress. I think the rulings that have come out of the Civil Aeronautics Board in this past 12 months have been an exciting thing, an innovative achievement which was feared greatly, originally, by the airline companies, but it's resulted in a great deal of reduction in unnecessarily high fares. The passengers have benefited substantially, and I think there's a growing feeling, almost unanimously, even among the airline industry executives, that this enhanced, competitive attitude within the airline industry has been beneficial.

I hope that soon we can move into other similar regulated industries. And I believe that the trend is to minimize, not to increase, unwarranted government intrusion into the regulatory process.

I hope that we'll have simplification of laws and regulations and a reduction in the total degree of regulation which, in the past, has almost inexorably trended toward a protection of the interest of the industries regulated, against the best interests of the American public. But we've had some innovative thoughts and actions in recent months which can serve as an inspiration and an example for this group behind me.

Well, in closing, let me say that I'm very grateful to these people for their willingness to serve. They bring a high degree of professional competence and experience to a very challenging and difficult and sensitive subject. And as President of our country, I wish them much success. And I believe that their study and their report will not only be substantial and profound, but that they will benefit from knowing that I, the Attorney General, and others will work with great enthusiasm and fervency to implement the recommendations that they make.

Thank you again for being willing to serve. I'm very proud of what I hope you will do, and I expect great things from you.

Note: The President spoke at 10:50 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.
Citation: Jimmy Carter: "National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures Remarks on Greeting Members of the Commission. ," June 21, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=30980.
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