The White House has received a great many requests for information regarding the work done by the United States Tariff Commission under the flexible clause of the Tariff Act. The attached statement deals with the activites of the reorganized Commission during the nine months to July 1, 1931, that it has been in office.
Investigations involving 229 different articles have been authorized. Work on 110 has been fully completed, while investigations of 119 are still under consideration. Of this latter number, public hearings have been held on 33 articles. Inquiries into 51 of the remaining number of articles have advanced to the point of public hearings or are otherwise nearing completion, leaving only 35 articles awaiting preliminary action.
Of the reports submitted to the President, 2, dealing with 4 articles, have been returned to the Commission for further study. The others have been approved. No changes in duties were made in 50 per cent of the reports. A little over half of the other reports involved deductions; the balance provided for increases.
The cases brought before the Commission are being handled expeditiously. The tables presented herewith reveal that the Commission is disposing of the cases at a rate of one per week. The tables show that some 200 items relating to the strictly flexible provisions of the tariff have either been dealt with, are in the process of hearings or are in the form of applications now before the Commission.
The Tariff Act of 1930 contained 3,221 dutiable items. Of this total 2,171 were unchanged from the 1922 tariff; 890 were increased; and 235 were decreased.
Aside from the work of the Tariff Commission in respect to the flexible clause upon requests by Congress for special surveys relating to imports, the Commission has completed 4 reports dealing with 10 subjects. In addition, a fifth survey of leaf tobacco has been completed by the Commission. This survey was made by the Commission on its own initiative.