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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
BARRIERS TO INTERNAL
TRADE IN FARM PRODUCTS
U.S. Benean of agricultural econonnes
by GEORGE R. TAYLOR, Senior Agricultural Economist
EDGAR L. BURTIS, Assistant Agricultural Economist
FREDERICK V. WAUGH, Principal Agricultural Economist
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
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THE PREPARATION of this publication would have been impossible without the assistance rendered by numerous organizations and individuals.
For aid in collecting instances of legislative and regulatory hindrances to trade, the authors are especially indebted to members of the field staff of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics engaged in the market news and the inspection services, to the members of the National League of Wholesale Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Distributors, and to the members of the National Ice Cream Manufacturers Association.
State and municipal officials have been of great assistance in verifying statements with regard to laws, regulations, ordinances, taxes, and license fees and in furnishing new information. The authors wish to express their especial appreciation to the members of the National Association of Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of Agriculture, and to the members of the National Association of Marketing Officials.
The cooperation of trade associations has been of great value in the preparation of several parts in this report. These include, in addition to those already mentioned, the Institute of Margarine Manufacturers, the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, the National Highway Users Conference, American Trucking Associations, Inc., the Evaporated Milk Institute, the American Dry Milk Institute, and the Wine Institute. Mention should also be made of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.
Much information has been made available by agencies of the Federal Government. Many of these agencies have also reviewed portions of the manuscript and made valuable suggestions for its improvement. Among these are the Bureau of Public Roads, the Bureau of Dairy Industry, the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, within the Department of Agriculture; and outside this Department, the Alcohol Control Administration.
Joseph F. Herrick, Jr., of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, has aided materially in the research that has been done in connection with the preparation of this publication.
THE FOLLOWING PAGES describe a situation which is becoming of
The existence of trade barriers between the States provided a power-
Today, we cannot say that we have free trade between the States. It develops that public health and sanitation measures may be so designed as to restrict trade across State lines. The same may be said of certain tax laws, of motortruck regulation, of quarantines, of grading, labeling, and packaging laws, and of State-financed advertising of farm products. However worthy the purpose of most of these laws and regulations, in many cases they have been so drawn and administered as to cause large and unnecessary economic losses to the whole community.
We cannot easily reverse this trend toward interstate trade barriers, but it is encouraging to record that many of the States are now concerned about the situation and are apparently in the mood for remedial action. It is significant that this special report has been sponsored by the marketing committee of the National Association of Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of Agriculture.
This report does not make specific legislative recommendations, but it does indicate where change is needed and in what direction new legislation or regulation might wisely move. The heaviest burden for remedial action obviously falls upon the States, but there may well be a number of things the Federal Government can do. Together, I hope we can map a continuous, vigorous, intelligent program of action to the end that State lines may again become broad highways of commerce, serving the general welfare.
HENRY A. WALLACE,
Secretary of Agriculture.
THE RIGHT to self-government is inextricably enmeshed with the duty of self-restraint. Just as individual freedom is eventually curbed when the individual fails to subordinate the exercise of his liberty to the general welfare of the community, so the priceless States' rights will gradually be lost to Federal dominance if the State governmental agencies fail to give due consideration to equally priceless interstate rights.
The marketing committee of the National Association of Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of Agriculture is proud to be associated with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in this important study of interstate trade barriers. If this report prompts a more serious consideration of quarantines and regulations, as well as of our specialinterest laws, in the light of their potential danger to the very interests and industries they are designed to protect, the effort is well worth while.
State trade barriers, regardless of their merit, certainly are a strain on neighborliness, and State trade barriers that are erected without regard to their merit are potential invitations to destructive reprisals.
This committee is deeply grateful for the honor of sponsoring this investigation and sincerely appreciates the painstaking efforts of Frederick V. Waugh and his coworkers in the preparation of this report. It is offered for the serious consideration of State officials and legislators, and in hope that they will make every effort to convey, to their constituents, the lessons it carries.
1 This statement was prepared by the marketing committee of the National Association of Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of Agriculture. The committee helped very substantially in this study, both by suggesting problems that needed special consideration and by reviewing the entire manuscript and making suggestions for improvements. The membership of the committee is:
Director Walter J. Robinson of Washington, chairman.
Commissioner Jewell Mayes of Missouri.