A look at September's roster of trade decisions
September promises to be an important month for world trade, since United States decisions will heavily influence actions abroad. Here's what is coming up:
* President Reagan has until Sept. 24 to act on an International Trade Commission (ITC) recommendation that he give the steel industry five years of trade relief. This would mean worldwide quotas and higher tariffs on 70 percent of the foreign steel entering the US.
Reports from Washington indicate the US is considering negotiating limits on steel imports from third-world suppliers, particularly Brazil and South Korea.
Meanwhile, the House Ways and Means Committee plans to hold hearings on a bill - sponsored by more than half the members of the House - that would limit steel imports to 15 percent of the domestic market. Imports currently make up some 25 percent of the market.
* The President must decide by Sept. 16 whether to give the domestic copper industry special protection, as recommended by the ITC. This matter is now before the office of the US trade representative for its recommendation to the President. Observers note that the Mountain States, with major copper mines, are expected to vote GOP in the coming elections. Opinions differ, however, as to whether this will prompt the President to reward those states with restrictions or make it less politically important for him to take such action.
* The Reagan administration, under pressure from retailers and foreign governments, has allowed textiles ordered for the Christmas retailing season to enter the US unimpeded by new customs rules. The new rules, due to take effect Sept. 7, would have affected possibly as much as $500 million in textile imports.
* The Senate has before it an bill with a mix of restrictive and liberal trade measures. It would renew for 10 years a special favorable tariff deal for less-developed countries known as the Generalized System of Preferences. It also will permit the Reagan administration to negotiate a free-trade area with Israel and free trade in certain industry sectors with Canada. Another section of the bill would encourage the President to take direct retaliatory action against a trading partner, if that country is restricting the access of US imports in a nonreciprocal manner. The bill also contains some miscellaneous changes in US tariffs.