The Year in Trade -- Chronicling 60 Years

The USITC last week released its 60th edition of The Year in Trade.

The Year in Trade is a one-stop reference resource for anyone involved in international trade, covering major multilateral, regional, and bilateral developments as well as international trade laws and actions under them during the year covered.

It is one of the government's most comprehensive reports of U.S. trade-related activities, and it has been published by the Commission every year since 1948.

Ten years ago, when the Commission published the 50th Anniversary edition of The Year in Trade, it included a retrospective on the publication and the U.S. trade agreements program it has covered.

Appearing as a "Letter to Readers" at the front of the volume, it surveyed the evolution of U.S. international trade policy. It noted that as the scope and complexity of U.S. international trade relations had expanded over the previous 50 years, so had The Year in Trade by thoroughly chronicling the milestones in U.S. bilateral and multilateral trade developments.

The 50th Anniversary retrospective explained that the origin of The Year in Trade series was Executive Order 9832, issued by President Harry Truman on February 20, 1947, which directed the USITC (then known as the Tariff Commission) to prepare an annual report on the operation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1934. That report (now entitled The Year in Trade) was intended to inform government officials and private sector representatives of changes that occurred in U.S. trade and trade policy as a result of reciprocity activities.

The retrospective further noted that, in passing the Trade Act of 1974, Congress included a provision that the Commission shall at all times keep informed on the operation and effect of provisions of trade agreements entered into that relate to duties and other import restrictions of the United States.

The Commission's chronicling continues. Our current edition -- The Year in Trade 2008 -- contains timely updates on enforcement of trade remedies, on U.S. trade preference programs that benefit developing nations, on U.S. activities within multilateral institutions such as the WTO, OECD, and APEC, on the operation of free trade agreements, and on bilateral relationships with major U.S. trading partners.

Read the full 50th Anniversary Letter to Readers at:

Looking for more historical information related to tariffs and trade? Check out the USITC's "U.S. Tariffs and Trade: A Timeline".

-- posted 8/7/2009