Kennedy Round

Kennedy Round

Kennedy Round in Global Commerce Policy

In this regard, a definition of this issue is as follows: the sixth round of GATT multilateral trade negotiations, held from 1963 to 1967. The entries on trade policy are here. It was named after President John F Kennedy in recognition of his support for the reformulation of the United States trade agenda which resulted in the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This Act gave the President the widest-ever negotiating authority. (See United States trade agreements legislation for a brief description of how this is done). The entries on trade policy are here. As the Dillon Round went through the laborious process of item-by-item tariff negotiations, it became clear, long before the Round ended, that a more comprehensive approach was needed to deal with the emerging challenges resulting from the formation of the European Economic Community (EEC) and EFTA, as well as Europe’s re- emergence as a significant international trader more generally. Japan’s high economic growth rate portended the major role it would play later as an exporter, but the focal point of the Kennedy Round always was the United States-EEC relationship. The entries on trade policy are here. Indeed, there was an influential American view that saw what became the Kennedy Round as the start of a transatlantic partnership that might ultimately lead to a transatlantic economic community. To an extent, this view was shared in Europe, but the process of European unification created its own stresses under which the Kennedy Round at times became a secondary focus for the EEC. The entries on trade policy are here. An example of this was the French veto in January 1963, before the round had even started, on membership by the United Kingdom. The entries on trade policy are here. Another was the internal crisis of 1965 which ended in the Luxembourg Compromise. Preparations for the new round were immediately overshadowed by the Chicken War, an early sign of the impact variable levies under the Common Agricultural Policy would eventually have. Some participants in the Round had been concerned that the convening of UNCTAD, scheduled for 1964, would result in further complications, but its impact on the actual negotiations was minimal. The entries on trade policy are here. In May 1963 Ministers reached agreement on three negotiating objectives for the round: (a) measures for the expansion of trade of developing countries as a means of furthering their economic development, (b) reduction or elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade, and (c) measures for access to markets for agricultural and other primary products. The working hypothesis for the tariff negotiations was a linear tariff cut of 50% with the smallest number of exceptions. The entries on trade policy are here. A drawn-out argument developed about the trade effects a uniform linear cut would have on the dispersed rates (low and high tariffs quite far apart) of the United States as compared to the much more concentrated rates of the EEC which also tended to be in the lower half of United States tariff rates. The EEC accordingly argued for an evening-out or harmonization of peaks and troughs through its écrêtement, double écart and thirty : ten proposals. The entries on trade policy in the Encyclopedia are here. Once negotiations had been joined, this lofty working hypothesis was soon undermined. The special- structure countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa), so called because their exports were dominated by raw materials and other primary commodities, negotiated their tariff reductions entirely through the item-by-item method. The entries on trade policy are here. In the end, the result was an average 35% reduction in tariffs, except for textiles, chemicals, steel and other sensitive products; plus a 15% to 18% reduction in tariffs for agricultural and food products. The entries on trade policy are here. In addition, the negotiations on chemicals led to a provisional agreement on the abolition of the American Selling Price (ASP). This was a method of valuing some chemicals used by the United States for the imposition of import duties which gave domestic manufacturers a much higher level of protection than the tariff schedule indicated. However, this part of the outcome was disallowed by Congress, and the American Selling Price was not abolished until Congress adopted the results of the Tokyo Round. The results on agriculture overall were poor. The most notable achievement was agreement on a Memorandum of Agreement on Basic Elements for the Negotiation of a World Grains Arrangement which eventually was rolled into a new International Grains Arrangement. The EEC claimed that for it the main result of the negotiations on agriculture was that they “greatly helped to define its own common policy”. The developing countries, who played a minor role throughout the negotiations in this Round, benefited nonetheless from substantial tariff cuts particularly in non-agricultural items of interest to them. Their main achievement at the time, however, was seen to be the adoption of Part IV of the GATT which absolved them from according reciprocity to developed countries in trade negotiations. The entries on trade policy are here. In the view of many developing countries, this was a direct result of the call at UNCTAD I for a better trade deal for them. There has been argument ever since whether this symbolic gesture was a victory for them, or whether it ensured their exclusion in the future from meaningful participation in the multilateral trading system. The entries on trade policy in the Encyclopedia are here. On the other hand, there was no doubt that the extension of the Long-Term Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Cotton Textiles, which later became the Multi-Fibre Arrangement, for three years until 1970 led to the longer- term impairment of export opportunities for developing countries. The entries on trade policy are here. Another outcome of the Kennedy Round was the adoption of an Anti-dumping Code which gave more precise guidance on the implementation of Article VI of the GATT. The entries on trade policy are here. In particular, it sought to ensure speedy and fair investigations, and it imposed limits on the retrospective application of anti-dumping duties. The Code, however, also ran into difficulties with the United States Congress which precluded it from operating as had been intended. The United States nevertheless claimed that it was complying fully with the new code. See also anti-dumping measures and developing countries and the multilateral trading system.[1]

Kennedy Roundin the wold Encyclopedia

For an introductory overview on international trade policy, see this entry.


Notes and References

  1. Dictionary of Trade Policy, “Kennedy Round” entry (OAS)

See Also

Hierarchical Display of Kennedy Round

Trade > Tariff policy > Tariff policy > Tariff negotiations

Meaning of Kennedy Round

Overview and more information about Kennedy Round

For a more comprehensive understanding of Kennedy Round, see in the general part of the online platform.[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]


Translation of Kennedy Round

Thesaurus of Kennedy Round

Trade > Tariff policy > Tariff policy > Tariff negotiations > Kennedy Round

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