European Tariff Truce Negotiations

April 10, 1930

Report Outline
Post-War Economic Conditions in Europe
Movement for a Customs Truce
The Customs Truce Conference of 1930

Post-War Economic Conditions in Europe

Deeline of Europe's Share in World Trade

Ten years after the ree´stablishment of peace by the Treaty of Versailles, January 10, 1920, the continent of Europe finds itself in a state of economic depression which threatens to become chronic. Only a few countries, France, Holland, Sweden, and a few industries embraced in international cartels have enjoyed anything approaching real prosperity in recent years.

Total world production of basic raw materials was 35 per cent greater in 1928 than in 1913, and total world trade showed an increase of 22 per cent; but Europe's share in the world's trade had fallen by 14 per cent since the last pre-war year, while the share of North America had risen by 28 per cent, that of Asia by 27 per cent, and that of Oceania by 15 per cent. Although Europe's population increased by 7 per cent during this fifteen-year period, her contribution to total world production fell by 9 per cent.

A slightly rising tide of prosperity appeared in Europe during 1927, after the stabilization of European currencies, but it began to recede in 1929. During the last six months, European imports of raw material have shown a sharp decline, and unemployment, first in Great Britain and Eastern Europe and now in Western Europe, has been on the increase. The depression in European agriculture is even more pronounced than in most of the industrial districts. It is attributed to inefficient production and marketing methods, high and unstable tariffs, and competition from other continents.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Regional Political Affairs: Europe