December 12, 1961 – ABC Radio – From The Capitol – Representative Hale Boggs (D-LA.) – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Before Brexit, before the European Union we had The Common Market. In 1957 there was the Treaty Of Rome which established the European Economic Community. It consisted of Belgium, France, Italy, West Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. The aim was to combine the coal and steel industries of its members to create a single market in those resources. It was intended that this would increase prosperity and decrease the risk of these countries going to war through the process of European integration. The EEC was working on nuclear energy co-operation between the members. They would also create a customs union and general economic co-operation. It later led to the creation of a European single market.
At the time it wasn’t considered to be much of a threat to the U.S. – it was a continuation of Europe getting back on its feet from the affects of World War 2 which The Marshall Plan had much to do with stimulating. But then a shift began to take place – prices for goods and raw materials (i.e. Steel) were becoming cheaper from Europe. Production was soaring and goods from the Common Market countries were beginning to flood the U.S. market. We began to see more Volkswagens and Fiats on American streets – we were drinking a LOT more French and Italian Wine. Capitol Hill was beginning to wonder.
This panel discussion features Representative Hale Boggs (D-LA), who was deputy Whip of the House as well as member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Joint Economic Committee. The issue at hand was the problem with U.S. Trade Policy and the drastic changes taking place in Europe under the Common Market and how it would potentially affect the American economy.
To get an idea, here is that discussion along with a number of other political issues facing Washington on December 12, 1961 via ABC Radio’s From The Capitol.
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