Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Concerning Importation of Automobiles for Show Purposes.
I HAVE TODAY APPROVED H. R. 776, "To permit temporary free importation of automobiles and parts of automobiles when intended solely for show purposes," in the interest of making the privileges it grants available at the earliest date and because I believe that increasing the opportunities for the display of foreign products would be of benefit to the United States.
I wish, however, to call attention to the fact that the measure makes the allowance of reciprocal privileges by a foreign nation a condition to the granting of the benefits of the bill to that nation by the United States. In this respect, it is inconsistent with our obligation to accord unconditional most-favored-nation treatment with respect to customs duties to a great many countries of the world. This obligation is contained in most of our treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation and trade agreements. If we grant the privilege of temporary duty-free importation to automobiles from any country, we are, therefore, obligated to grant identical treatment to many other countries, whether or not they permit temporary duty-free importation of automobiles from the United States.
I, therefore, urge that the Congress give consideration to the early enactment of legislation amending H. R. 776 to eliminate the reciprocal privilege requirement.
Note: As enacted, H. R. 776 is Public Law 85-379 (72 Stat. 88).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Concerning Importation of Automobiles for Show Purposes. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234683