September 15

Cordell Hull`s Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act

At the end of the twentieth century, many commentators deplored the liberal logic of Hull`s trade as self-destructive, naïve or reckless. They accused liberal liberals of economic appeasement and traded American interests for illusory foreign policy goals. However, the RTAA did not remove trade barriers and produced no more than modest export expansion for U.S. farmers and producers. Imperial preferences remained in force. But Hull was satisfied, because he had in mind world politics and not the economy in negotiating agreements. He agreed that international affairs, especially issues of democracy, security and peace, were at the heart of the RTAA and US customs policy. Until 1937, in a policy that lasted until the next millennium, officials elevated internationalism above national economic well-being. In this way, they have shifted customs policy from their protective dress to that of expansion and liberalism. As the world headed for another war, the Roosevelt government used customs policy to form a coalition of democracies to confront militarist aggressors in Europe and Asia. The Foreign Minister insisted that reciprocal tariff concessions be granted within the framework of reciprocal trade agreements and that the most-favoured-nation policy be closely respected. He attacked Smoot-Hawley as detrimental to U.S. interests and security.

Liberal trade hinges on peace, he explained, and high tariffs with war. Hull worked to remove customs policy from the catches of selfish members of Congress and bring them to the executive, namely with the Free Trade Department of Foreign Affairs and the president. With the temptation of the large American market, he pursued reciprocity agreements with the revolutionary trade legislation that fulfilled his agenda: the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA) of 1934. A law passed in 1934 by Congress to authorize the president to enter into tariff reduction agreements with foreign countries and without the agreement of Congress. Based on an idea that was adopted by the secretary of. As mentioned above, the RTAA was an influential law that shifted the direction of U.S. trade policy away from protectionism and toward free trade. . .

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