"In October 1967, a number of United States business leaders joined together because of a shared concern that a new worldwide trade war was in the making. Proposals to severely restrict imports into the United States were moving through the Congress. Threats of retaliation by foreign nations were being openly voiced. These business representatives felt that a combination of restrictions and retaliations could destroy two decades of progress in the expansion of trade and investment and would damage other areas of international cooperation. To help prevent this, they formed the Emergency Committee for American Trade. The bills then in Congress did not succeed but the threat to trade and investment continued, and the founders of what came to be known as ECAT were joined by others until the Committee reached its present size. ECAT’s members account for major segments of the manufacturing, financial, processing, merchandising, and publishing sectors of the American economy. Their combined exports run into the tens of billions of dollars. The jobs they provide for American men and women -- including the jobs accounted for by suppliers, dealers, and subcontractors -- are located in every state and cover skills of all levels. Their annual worldwide sales exceed $1.5 trillion, and they employ approximately four million persons. The members of ECAT are practical business people. They are not free trade theorists. They believe in and support measures designed to promote economic growth through the expansion of international trade and investment. ECAT members are active supporters of legislative and other measures that facilitate U.S. trade and investment. They additionally are opposed to changes in U.S. trade and tax law that unfairly penalize their competitiveness in world markets. ECAT members support the continued expansion of the multilateral trading system to provide new opportunities for farmers, manufacturers, and service providers, and to improve compliance with agreements to protect intellectual property rights. They also encourage business people overseas to support policies that assure fairer treatment of American goods in foreign markets and to oppose restrictions on U.S. companies. Members of ECAT, supported by experts from within their companies and from the small ECAT staff, have made their views known through testimony before Congressional committees, through contacts with members of Congress and Administration officials, through liaison with other organizations, and through public information programs, including ECAT’s Trade: Discover the OpportunityTM trade outreach program and the Mainstay monograph series on the contribution of U.S. trade and foreign direct investment to the U.S. economy. "