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The Trade Act of 1974 (actually enacted January 3, 1975 as Pub.L. 93-618, 88 Stat. 1978, 19 U.S.C. ch.12) was passed to help industry in the United States become more competitive or phase workers into other industries or occupations.

Fast track authority

It created fast track authority for the President to negotiate trade agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. The fast track authority created under the Act extended to 1994 and was restored in 2002 by the Trade Act of 2002. The Act provided the President with tariff and nontariff trade barrier negotiating authority for the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

Power to counteract unfair foreign trade practices

It also gave the President broad authority to counteract injurious and unfair foreign trade practices.

  • Section 201 of the Act requires the International Trade Commission to investigate petitions filed by domestic industries or workers claiming injury or threat of injury due to expanding imports. Investigations must be completed within 6 months. If such injury is found, restrictive measures may be implemented. Action under Section 201 is allowed under the GATT escape clause, GATT Article XIX.
  • Section 301 was designed to eliminate unfair foreign trade practices that adversely affect U.S. trade and investment in both goods and services. Under Section 301, the President must determine whether the alleged practices are unjustifiable, unreasonable, or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. If the President determines that action is necessary, the law directs that all appropriate and feasible action within the President’s power should be taken to secure the elimination of the practice.[1]


  1. ^ CRS Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition - Order Code 97-905

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Public Law 93-618
by the 93rd Congress of the United States
Trade Act of 1974
Pub.L. 93−618, 88 Stat. 1978, H.R. 10710, enacted January 3, 1975.
Information about this edition

  Wikipedia-logo.png "Trade Act of 1974" in Wikipedia.
Note: This is the original legislation as it was initially enacted. Like many laws, this statute may have since been amended once or many times, and the text contained herein may no longer be legally current. Follow the interlinks within the content or check to see What Links Here for more.


An Act

To promote the development of an open, nondiscriminatory, and fair world economic system, to stimulate fair and free competition between the United States and foreign nations, to foster the economic growth of, and full employment in, the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


That this Act, with the following table of contents, may be cited as the ``Trade Act of 1974´´.


Title I — Negotiating and Other Authority

Chapter 1—Rates of Duty and Other Trade Barriers

Sec. 101. Basic authority for trade agreements.
Sec. 102. Nontariff barriers to and other distortions of trade.
Sec. 103. Overall negotiating objective.
Sec. 104. Sector negotiating objective.
Sec. 105. Bilateral trade agreements.
Sec. 106. Agreements with developing countries.
Sec. 107. International safeguard procedures.
Sec. 108. Access to supplies.
Sec. 109. Staging requirements and rounding authority.

Chapter 2—Other Authority

Sec. 121. Steps to be taken toward GATT revision; authorization of appropriations for GATT.
Sec. 122. Balance-of-payments authority.
Sec. 123. Compensation authority.
Sec. 124. Two-year residual authority to negotiate duties.
Sec. 125. Termination and withdrawal authority.
Sec. 126. Reciprocal nondiscriminating treatment.
Sec. 127. Reservation of articles for national security or other reasons.

Chapter 3—Hearings and Advice Concerning Negotiations

Sec. 131. International Trade Commission advice.
Sec. 132. Advice from departments and other sources.
Sec. 133. Public hearings.
Sec. 134. Prerequisites for offers.
Sec. 135. Advice from private sector.

Chapter 4—Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations

Sec. 141. Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.

Chapter 5—Congressional Procedures with Respect to Presidential Actions

Sec. 151. Bills implementing trade agreements on nontariff barriers and resolutions approving commercial agreements with Communist countries.
Sec. 152. Resolutions disapproving certain actions.
Sec. 153. Resolutions relating to extension of waiver authority under Section 402.
Sec. 154. Special rules relating to congressional procedures.

Chapter 6—Congressional Liason and Reports

Sec. 161. Congressional delegates to negotiations.
Sec. 162. Transmission of agreements to Congress.
Sec. 163. Reports.

Chapter 7—United States International Trade Commission

Sec. 171. Change of name of Tariff Commission.
Sec. 172. Organization of the Commission.
Sec. 173. Voting record of commissioners.
Sec. 174. Representation in court proceedings.
Sec. 175. Independent budget and authorization of appropriations.


Chapter 1—Import Relief

Sec. 201. Investigation by International Trade Commission.
Sec. 202. Presidential action after investigations.
Sec. 203. Import relief.

Chapter 2—Adjustment Assistance for Workers

Subchapter A—Petitions and Determinations

Sec. 221. Petitions.
Sec. 222. Group eligibility requirements.
Sec. 223. Determinations by Secretary of Labor.
Sec. 224. Study by Secretary of Labor when International Trade Commission begins investigation; action where there is affirmative finding.

Subchapter B—Program Benefits

part i—trade readjustment allowances

Sec. 231. Qualifying requirements for workers.
Sec. 232. Weekly amounts.
Sec. 233. Time limitations on trade readjustment allowances.
Sec. 234. Application of State laws.

part ii—training and related services

Sec. 235. Employment services.
Sec. 236. Training.

part iii—job search and relocation allowances

Sec. 237. Job search allowances.
Sec. 238. Relocation allowances.

Subchapter C—General Provisions

Sec. 239. Agreements with States.
Sec. 240. Administration absent State agreement.
Sec. 241. Payments to States.
Sec. 242. Liabilities of certifying and disbursing officers.
Sec. 243. Recovery of overpayments.
Sec. 244. Penalties.
Sec. 245. Creation of trust fund; authorization of appropriations out of customs receipts.
Sec. 246. Transitional provisions.
Sec. 247. Definitions.
Sec. 248. Regulations.
Sec. 249. Subpena power.
Sec. 250. Judicial review.

Chapter 3—Adjustment Assistance for Firms

Sec. 251. Petitions and determinations.
Sec. 252. Approval of adjustment proposals.
Sec. 253. Technical assistance.
Sec. 254. Financial assistance.
Sec. 255. Conditions for financial assistance.
Sec. 256. Delegation of functions to Small Business Administration; authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 257. Administration of financial assistance.
Sec. 258. Protective provisions.
Sec. 259. Penalties.
Sec. 260. Suits.
Sec. 261. Definitions.
Sec. 262. Regulations.
Sec. 263. Transitional provisions.
Sec. 264. Study by Secretary of Commerce when International Trade Commission begins investigation; action where there is affirmative finding.

Chapter 4—Adjustment Assistance for Communities

Sec. 271. Petitions and determinations.
Sec. 272. Trade impacted area councils.
Sec. 273. Program benefits.
Sec. 274. Community adjustment assistance fund and authorization of appropriations.

Chapter 5—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 280. General Accounting Office report.
Sec. 281. Coordination.
Sec. 282. Trade monitoring system.
Sec. 283. Firms relocating in foreign countries.
Sec. 284. Effective date.


Chapter 1—Foreign Import Restrictions and Export Subsidies

Sec. 301. Responses to certain trade practices of foreign governments.
Sec. 302. Procedure for congressional disapproval of certain actions taken under section 301.

Chapter 2—Antidumping Duties

Sec. 321. Amendments to the Antidumping Act of 1921.

Chapter 3—Countervailing Duties

Sec. 331. Amendments to sections 303 and 516 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

Chapter 4—Unfair Import Practices

Sec. 341. Amendment to section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.


Sec. 401. Exception of the products of certain countries or areas.
Sec. 402. Freedom of emigration in East-West trade.
Sec. 403. United States personnel missing in action in Southeast Asia.
Sec. 404. Extension of nondiscriminatory treatment.
Sec. 405. Authority to enter into commercial agreements.
Sec. 400. Market disruption.
Sec. 407. Procedure for congressional approval or disapproval of extension of nondiscriminatory treatment and Presidential reports.
Sec. 408. Payment by Czechoslovakia of amounts owed United States citizens and nationals.
Sec. 409. Freedom to emigrate to join a very close relative in the United States.
Sec. 410. East-West Trade Statistics Monitoring System.
Sec. 411. East-West Foreign Trade Board.


Sec. 501. Authority to extend preferences.
Sec. 502. Beneficiary developing country.
Sec. 503. Eligible articles.
Sec. 504. Limitations on preferential treatment.
Sec. 505. Time limit on title; comprehensive review.


Sec. 601. Definitions.
Sec. 602. Relation to other laws.
Sec. 603. International Trade Commission.
Sec. 604. Consequential changes in the Tariff Schedules.
Sec. 605. Separability.
Sec. 606. International drug control.
Sec. 607. Voluntary limitations on exports of steel to the United States.
Sec. 608. Uniform statistical data on imports, exports, and production.
Sec. 609. Submission of statistical data on imports and exports.
Sec. 610. Gifts sent from insular possessions.
Sec. 611. Review of protests in import surcharge cases.
Sec. 612. Trade relations with Canada.
Sec. 613. Limitation on credit to Russia.


The purposes of this Act are, through trade agreements affording mutual benefits—
(1) to foster the economic growth of and full employment in the United States and to strengthen economic relations between the United States and foreign countries through open and nondiscriminatory world trade;
(2) to harmonize, reduce, and eliminate barriers to trade on a basis which assures substantially equivalent competitive opportunities for the commerce of the United States;
(3) to establish fairness and equity in international trading relations, including reform of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade;
(4) to provide adequate procedures to safeguard American industry and labor against unfair or injurious import competition, and to assist industries, firm, workers, and communities to adjust to changes in international trade flows;
(5) to open up market opportunities for United States commerce in nonmarket economies; and
(6) to provide fair and reasonable access to products of less developed countries in the United States market.

Approved January 3, 1975.


  1. Section 1. was not designated in the original text and has been added here strictly for editorial purposes only.
    In the orginal text, the Act's Short Title citation was given immediately after the Enacting Clause and before the Table of Contents began as below:
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act, with the following table of contents, may be cited as the ``Trade Act of 1974´´.

Legislative History

    • No. 93-571 (Comm. on Ways and Means)
    • No. 93-1644 (Comm. of Conference)
    • No. 93-1298 (Comm. on Finance)
  • CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 119 (1973):
    • Dec. 10, 11, considered and passed House.
  • CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 120 (1974):
    • Dec. 5, 11-13, considered and passed Senate, amended.
    • Dec. 20, House and Senate agreed to conference report.
    • Jan. 3, Presidential statement.

See Also


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