Memorandum of Disapproval of a Bill To Restrict Imports of Filbert Products.
[Dated January 3, 1975. Released January 4, 1975]
I AM withholding my approval from H.R. 2933, a bill which would amend the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act to make existing grade and quality restrictions on certain imported commodities applicable to imported filberts.
In my judgment, the bill would be unfair to the American consumer and the American farmer, as well as prejudicial to the interests of American trade policy.
H.R. 2933 would be unfair to the consumer because it could unnecessarily increase prices for filbert products. Existing law already requires all imported foodstuffs to meet health standards prescribed under the Food and Drug Act.
The bill could also produce unfair consequences for the farmer by causing the loss of some of his important markets abroad. It could result at best in comparatively limited benefits for domestic producers while risking retaliation from abroad against the larger volume of other products exported by our farmers.
Finally, the bill would be prejudicial to our trade policy because it would be inconsistent with our obligations under the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade. It would erect a non-tariff trade barrier at a time when we are trying to persuade other nations to dismantle theirs.
Although there are other commodities which are subject to the same statutory restrictions that H.R. 2933 would impose on filberts, no new commodities have been included in that list since January of 1971. I cannot in good conscience support the addition of a new commodity just after signing into law the new Trade Act which has a major aim of eliminating non-tariff trade barriers. For the foregoing reasons, I am compelled to withhold my approval from H.R. 2933.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
January 3, 1975.
Gerald R. Ford, Memorandum of Disapproval of a Bill To Restrict Imports of Filbert Products. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257023