President Carter is expected to veto a bill passed in the closing hours of the 95th Congress that would bar U.S. trade negotiators from agreeing to reduce American textile tariffs as part of the current world trade talks.
Although the president is described as stil several days away from any final decision, most of his top adivsers, including U.S. trade negotiator Robert S. Strauss, have recommended the reject the measure.
Strauss reportedly has protested that prohibiting any U.S. concession on textile tariffs this year could put a serious crimp on the trade negotiators, which already have been buffeted by other last-minute protectionist bills.
Aides say vetoing the legislation could present Carter with some domestic political problems. There are about 2.3 million textile workers in the U.S., many of whom are based in the politically volatile Deep South.
However, insiders say Carter already has served notice that he is over displeased with the textile provision and intends to veto the legislation possibly as early as next week.
The chief excutive is understood to have said he believes more passage of the legislaion has been enough to demonstrate the industry's clout to the European and Japanese and has served its useful purpose.
The provision sponsored by Sen. Ernest F. Hollings and Rep. Ken Holland both South Carolina Democrats, was tacked onto a minor bill authorizing further sales of souvenir Carson City silver dollars.
U.S. textilemakers have complained they are being hurt by unfair price competition from European and Japanese manufacturers jeopardizinf American jobs. The U.S. imports more textile than it exports.
However, American trade negotiators contend that excluding textiles from the mullateral trade bargaining now goining on in Geneva would deprive the U.S. of other concessions sought from foreign nations.
The negotiations involving textiles amkes up a substantial portion of the total trade being discussed in the Geneva talks. Among others the British are seeking a reduction in U.S. tariffs on woolens. The United States has taken several steps in past years to limit imports of foreign-made textiles including a voluntary agreement with Japan and Taiwan and a multinational trade pact involving fibers.
Hollings' provision would bar negotiators from even proposing concessions on textile tariffs by adding the industry to a list in the 1974 Trade Act exempting all products where domestic industries have been injured