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Clair Wilcox collection of International Trade Organization documents


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Clair Wilcox, born 1898 in Cuba, New York, earned his BS and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Following his graduation, he taught economics at Lafayette, Ohio Wesleyan, and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1927, he began teaching economics at Swarthmore College, remaining there until his retirement in 1968. Wilcox served as chair of Swarthmore's Economics Department from 1943 to 1967 and was the author of six books relating to economics. In addition to his career as a professor, Wilcox served several other organizations. From 1926 to 1927, Wilcox was secretary of the Pennsylvania State Parole Commission. From 1942 to 1943, he served as director of Industrial Material Division of the Office of Price Administration, and from 1945 to 1948, he "led the Office of International Trade Policy at the Department of State,' (Housman, page 27). He chaired the International Trade Conference, which resulted in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was signed in 1947 and served as the predecessor of today's World Trade Organization. Significant in Wilcox's career was his leadership and role as United States negotiator in Havana for the International Trade Organization (ITO), the charter for which was never signed. However, the ITO was significant for bringing "the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade into being ... [and serving as] an important staging post in the shift between two contrasting types of trade liberalism: moral internationalism and institutional internationalism," (Toye, page 1). According to Daniel Drache, the ITO was novel because, "at its core, the countries of the world rejected the idea that it was possible to maintain a firewall between trade, development, employment standards and domestic policy," (Drache, page 2). Conferences on the ITO were held in London and Havana.

Wilcox died in 1970.

Works cited:

Drache, Daniel. "The Short but Significant Life of the International Trade Organization: Lessons for Our Time." Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR) Working Paper, No. 6/00, University of Warwick. 2000.

Housman, Joshua. "One Hundred Years of Economics at Swarthmore."

Toye, Richard. "The International Trade Organization." The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization, 2012.

The collection documents a small part of Clair Wilcox's work with the Department of State, which he joined in 1945. Materials include reports of the United States Department of State on trade and commercial policy, press releases, memoranda to President Truman, and reports on the International Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. Several documents are marked "secret" or "confidential." The materials are arranged in chronological order.

Gift of Clair Wilcox, 1969.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Date
2014 November 21
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Proposed MultiLateral Convention on Commercial Policy: Multilateral versus Multilateral-Bilateral Action, Considerations and Recommendations, 1944 November.
Box 1 Folder 1
Memo, "The Nuclear Approach," from William A. Fowler to Mr. Wilcox (and others), 1945 April 13.
Box 1 Folder 2
Draft Tariff Proposals for Proposed Multilateral Agreement on Commercial Policy, 1945 July 5.
Box 1 Folder 3
Memo, "Recommendation of the Committee on Trade Barriers as to Draft Tariff Proposals for a Proposed Multilateral Agreement on Commercial Policy," from the chairman of the Trade Barriers Committee to the Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy, 1945 July 13.
Box 1 Folder 4
Memo for ECEFP, "Views of the Executive Committee regarding Draft Tariff Proposals for Proposed Multilateral Agreement on Commercial Policy", 1945 July 21.
Box 1 Folder 5
Confidential report to the Secretary of State from the Chairman of the United States Delegation to the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for an International Conference on Trade and Employment, London, England, October 15 to November 26, 1946, 1946 December 27.
Box 1 Folder 6
Preliminary Summary of Geneva Draft of ITO Charter: Changes from New York Draft, 1947 September 15.
Box 1 Folder 7
Department of State, Division of Central Services, Transcript of Proceedings, Report on ITO (Speaker: Mr. Clair Wilcox), 1947 October 1.
Box 1 Folder 8
Department of State, Memorandum of Press and Radio News Conference, "Work of Geneva Conference", 1947 October 9.
Box 1 Folder 9
Memorandum for the President regarding "Request for Approval of Results of Geneva Trade-Agreement Negotiations", 1947 October 17.
Box 1 Folder 10
Speeches made at plenary sessions of ITO Conference, Havana, 1947 December 6.
Box 1 Folder 13
Analyses of Amendments submitted to the ITO Conference, 1947 December 13.
Box 1 Folder 14
Official Report of the United States Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment in Havana, Cuba from November 17, 1947 to March 24, 1948, circa 1948 March.
Box 1 Folder 11
Sixth Committee: Organization, Report upon the Question of an Interim Commission for the International Trade Organization, 1948 March 15.
Box 1 Folder 15
Outcome of United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment, Havana, November 21, 1947 to March 24, 1948, 1948 March 18.
Box 1 Folder 12
Department of State press release regarding the signing of the Final Act of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment at Havana, 1948 March 25.
Box 1 Folder 16
Verbatim record of meeting of Economic Consultants, Subject: What are the main difficulties in bringing the ITO into existence? What are the prospects for the reasonably successful functioning of the system of international trade and capital movements envisaged by the ITO and the Monetary Fund?, 1948 December 2.
Box 1 Folder 17
Report, Trade and related problems: Preparing Postwar Trade and Exchange Policies, undated.
Box 1 Folder 18

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