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Customs Valuation Agreement Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on an Amendment to the Agreement.

January 16, 1980

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

During 1979 we achieved a remarkable series of improvements in the international rules for the conduct of trade, domestic legislation governing trade policy, and the organization of the Executive branch trade policy agencies. These successes were the result of a cooperative effort between the Congress and the Executive which must be continued if we are going to conduct successfully our international economic policy.

At the end of the Tokyo Round of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations last year, we had not yet completed negotiations with a significant number of developing countries on the Customs Valuation Agreement. Despite this fact, we decided to submit the Customs Valuation Agreement to the Congress together with the other nontariff barrier codes for approval. Negotiations with developing countries have continued, 'however, and have reached a point such that I can now notify the Congress of my intention to enter into a supplementary agreement on customs valuation.

The new agreement would make a minor amendment to the Customs Valuation Agreement already approved by the Congress. This amendment would eliminate one of the four tests under the Agreement by which related parties can establish a transaction value for customs purposes, i.e., the use of the transaction value from unrelated parties' sales of identical goods from third countries (Article 1.2 (b)(iv)). This amendment will have little impact on the Customs Valuation Agreement but will greatly facilitate acceptance of that Agreement by a significant number of developing countries. All the developed country signatories to the Agreement support the amendment.

In accordance with the Trade Act of 1974 procedures for approval and implementation of trade agreements, the United States Trade Representative and other appropriate agencies will consult with Congressional committees about the agreement for the next 90 calendar days. After the agreement has been signed it will be submitted for Congressional approval together with proposed implementing legislation and a statement of administrative action necessary or appropriate to implement the agreement in the United States. The agreement will not take effect with respect to the United States, and will not have domestic legal force, unless the Congress approves it and enacts the appropriate implementing legislation.

Congressional approval of the amendment to the Customs Valuation Agreement will help us obtain broader support for the Tokyo Round agreements by developing countries. This result will advance our national interest and enhance the prosperity of our people. I look forward to working together in this continuing effort.



[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:15 p.m., January 16, 1980]

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Walter F. Mondale, President of the Senate. The text is also printed in the FEDERAL REGISTER Of January 18, 1980.

Jimmy Carter, Customs Valuation Agreement Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on an Amendment to the Agreement. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249462

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