Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Duty-Free Entry of Certain Scientific Instruments.
I HAVE today signed H.R. 11216, a bill which simplifies the requirements for qualifying imported articles for partial exemption from duty to the extent of the value of any U.S. components contained in the articles; denies duty-free entry of buttons transshipped to the United States from an insular possession; provides. duty-free entry for certain teaching aids used in the Montessori method of education; provides duty-free entry for gifts from Canadian citizens to the International Peace Garden, Dunseith, N. Dak.; and provides duty-free entry for certain scientific instruments imported for the use of various universities in connection with their research work.
The amendments to H.R. 11216, contained in sections 4(a), (2), (3), and (4) and relating to mass spectrometers, were the subject of three separate bills on which the executive branch made its views known to the Congress. In this regard, the Department of Commerce objected to the enactment of these separate bills providing duty-free entry for these instruments. In making its recommendation regarding the duty-free entry of mass spectrometers imported for the use of the University of Hawaii, the University of Nebraska, and Utah State University, the executive branch followed its usual procedure for determining whether a scientifically equivalent instrument was available from a domestic manufacturer. With regard to the three cases, the Department of Commerce determined, and so reported to the Senate, that instruments of equivalent scientific value to those imported by each of the three universities were available from domestic manufacturers of mass spectrometers. Apparently this information did not become known to the House Committee in sufficient time to affect its deliberations on the conference report.
On November 8, 1965, I noted that enactment of legislation implementing the Florence Agreement would obviate the necessity for special legislation providing duty-free entry of scientific instruments and apparatus for particular educational institutions. Since that time the Congress has enacted H.R. 8664 (Public Law 89-651) to provide for United States implementation of the Florence Agreement. This law, which goes into effect next year, provides that scientific instruments should be accorded duty-free treatment only where there are no instruments of equivalent scientific value available from domestic sources. Those standards will govern the entry of all scientific instruments in the future and this administration will oppose any special legislation, such as that contained in sections 4(a), (2), (3), and (4) of this bill, which does not conform thereto. Accordingly, I do not regard approval of sections 4(a), (2), (3), and (4) of this bill as establishing a precedent for future Presidential approval of similar special legislation providing for duty-free entry of scientific instruments.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 11216 is Public Law 89806 (80 Stat. 1523).
On November 8, 1965, the President approved 14 private bills which implemented the Florence Agreement by providing for duty-free entry of scientific instruments (see 1965 volume, this series, Book If, Item 604).
The statement was released at San Antonio, Texas.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Duty-Free Entry of Certain Scientific Instruments. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238429