82 STAT. ]
PROCLAMATION 3837-MAR. 27, 1968
The United States also has heavy responsibilities in preserving a favorable trade balance and maintaining the soundness of the free world monetary system. The United States dollar is, at present, the cornerstone of that system. Its strength abroad depends on keeping our foreign earnings and spending in reasonable balance. I n recent years our outflow of dollars has far exceeded the inflow, and we have a dangerous deficit in our international accounts. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. That is why we have taken action this year to bring our balance of payments closer to equilibrium. The measures we have undertaken will insure the continued strength of the dollar. An essential element of this program is the expansion of our exports of goods and services to bring in more dollars. Last year saw new records in United States trade. We exported $31 billion worth of our merchandise, $2 hilUon more than the year before. We also provided the greatest market ever for the products of other nations, importing $27 hillion worth of goods. But we must sell even more overseas. The great success of the Kennedy Round of tariff negotiations offers us this opportunity. The fruits of the Kennedy Round, which produced the broadest reduction in import duties in history, will be vast new trading opportunities for the United States and for other countries. The tariff concessions cover $40 billion in world trade. Other countries granted the United States concessions on some $8 billion of our industrial and agricultural products—more than one-fourth of our total exports. We reduced duties on about the same volume of our imports. The United States and other major trading nations put the first stage of these reductions into effect this year. If we are to take advantage of these new opportunities to increase our sales abroad, we must do everything possible to make our goods better and less expensive and to make them available in foreign markets. We must make every effort to insure stable prices in order to meet foreign competition at home and abroad. Our success depends on the prompt enactment of legislation now before the Congress. First and foremost, the penny-on-a-dollar tax bill is the key element in our prudent program to restrain inflation and strengthen our competitive position in world markets. My recommendations to strengthen the financing of our exports and the promotion of our sales abroad are also vital to the long-run improvement we can and will achieve. World trade joins nations in economic progress. I t creates more jobs, encourages investments, and raises family incomes. It makes more consumer goods available and at lower prices. It allows nations to make more productive use of their manpower and machines. The gains won at Geneva last summer moved the world closer to the healthy trading conditions on which the prosperity of many nations depends. We look forward, too, to increasing trade in peaceful goods and technology with the Soviet Union and other Eastern European nations as a positive contribution to mutual trust, fruitful cooperation, and lasting peace.