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In an address delivered in Boston on May 18, 1917, Frank W. Taussig, distinguished first chairman of the Tariff Commission, delineated the responsibility of the newly established Commission to operate as a source of objective, factual information on tariffs and trade. He stated that the Commission was already preparing a catalog of tariff information-
designed to have on hand, in compact and simple
The first such report was issued in 1920. Subsequently three series of summaries of tariff information on commodities were published--in 1921, 1929, and 1948-50. The current series, entitled Summaries of Trade and Tariff Information, presents the information in terms of the tariff items provided for in the eight tariff schedules of the Tariff Schedules of the United States (abbreviated to TSUS in these volumes), which on August 31, 1963, replaced the 16 schedules of the Tariff Act of 1930.
Through its professional staff of commodity specialists, economists, lawyers, statisticians, and accountants, the Commission follows the movement of thousands of articles in international commodity trade, and during the years of its existence, has built up a reservoir of knowledge and understanding, not only with respect to imports but also regarding products and their uses, techniques of manufacturing and processing, commercial practices, and markets. Accordingly, the Commission believes that, when completed, the current series of summaries will be the most comprehensive publication of its kind and will present benchmark information that will serve many interests. This project, although encyclopedic, attempts to conform with Chairman Taussig's admonition to be "exhaustive in inquiry, and at the same time brief and discriminating in statement."
This series is being published in 62 volumes of summaries, each volume to be issued as soon as completed. Although the order of publication may not follow the numerical sequence of the items in the TSUS, all items are to be covered. As far as practicable, each volume reflects the most recent developments affecting U.S. foreign trade in the commodities included.