Trade Relations with Latin America

September 27, 1933

Report Outline
Initiation of Conversations on Trade Reciprocity
Trade of the United States with Latin America
Prospects of Developing Reciprocal Relations
Current Trade Proposals and Pan Americanism
Special Focus

Initiation of Conversations on Trade Reciprocity

The Initial Move toward carrying out the Democratic platform's advocacy of “reciprocal tariff agreements with other nations” was made on July 12, 1933, when the State Department asked the diplomatic representatives in Washington of Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia for the views of their governments on a proposal by President Roosevelt that “exploratory studies” be undertaken to ascertain the possibility of negotiating trade agreements with those countries. The administration's offer received an immediate favorable response. Preliminary conversations with Brazil and Colombia, and also with Cuba, were begun a few weeks later, and similar discussions with Argentina were initiated in the latter part of September.

The July overtures to nations which are leaders in the Latin-American trade with the United States occurred at a time when it had become evident that no important agreements on trade or tariff policy would emerge from the World Monetary and Economic Conference then in session at London. They were interpreted in some quarters as the reply of the administration to failure of the efforts there expended to achieve international economic collaboration on a broader scale. Although Sweden and Portugal were also invited to confer, it was contended that interest really was concentrated on development of closer trade relations with Latin America. Whether or not there was any political significance in the move, the fact remains that the Latin-American countries, exporting chiefly raw materials and importing manufactured goods, present the most promising opportunites for application of a policy of reciprocity by the United States. If the conversations with the countries first approached make satisfactory progress, other Latin-American republics will doubtless be asked to engage in similar studies.

Democratic Attitude on Policy of Tariff Reciprocity

The Democratic tariff bill passed by the 72nd Congress and vetoed by President Hoover, May 11, 1932, requested the President to negotiate “reciprocal trade agreements under a policy of mutual tariff concessions.” During his pre-election campaign, Roosevelt advocated international negotiations in which the United States would consent “to reduce to some extent some of our duties,” in order to obtain “a lowering of foreign walls,” as the “first and most desirable” method of bringing about reductions in tariffs. In his inaugural address he said he would “spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment,” but added that “our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Latin America
Sep. 14, 2018  Turmoil in Central America
Jun. 05, 2012  China in Latin America
Mar. 2008  The New Latin America
Jul. 21, 2006  Change in Latin America
Mar. 14, 2003  Trouble in South America
Nov. 09, 2001  U.S.- Mexico Relations
Sep. 19, 1997  Mexico's Future
Jul. 19, 1991  Mexico's Emergence
May 05, 1989  New Approach to Central America
Mar. 06, 1987  Soviets' Latin Influence
Dec. 26, 1986  Pinochet's Chile
Nov. 08, 1985  Troubled Mexico
Apr. 10, 1981  Latin American Challenges
May 05, 1978  Central America and the U.S.A.
Sep. 23, 1977  Mexican-U.S. Relations
Jun. 04, 1976  Relations with Latin America
Oct. 21, 1970  Chile's Embattled Democracy
Jun. 24, 1970  Mexico's Election and the Continuing Revolution
Apr. 02, 1969  Economic Nationalism in Latin America
Jul. 19, 1967  Guerrilla Movements in Latin America
Dec. 28, 1966  Militarism in Latin America
Oct. 20, 1965  Common Market for Latin America
Aug. 04, 1965  Smoldering Colombia
Jun. 23, 1965  Inter-American Peacekeeping
Dec. 11, 1963  Progress of the Alianza
Oct. 05, 1962  Arms Aid to Latin America
Dec. 13, 1961  Land and Tax Reform in Latin America
Jul. 26, 1961  Commodity Agreements for Latin America
Jan. 11, 1961  Revolution in the Western Hemisphere
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Jan. 13, 1960  Expropriation in Latin America
Jul. 02, 1958  Economic Relations with Latin America
Mar. 02, 1954  Communism in Latin America
Jun. 20, 1952  Political Unrest in Latin America
Sep. 18, 1950  War Aid from Latin America
Oct. 31, 1947  Arming the Americas
Jul. 24, 1946  Inter-American Security
Jan. 02, 1942  Latin America and the War
Jul. 10, 1941  Export Surpluses and Import Needs of South America
Jun. 04, 1941  Economic Defense of Latin America
Jun. 25, 1940  Politics in Mexico
Nov. 01, 1939  Pan American Political Relations
Oct. 10, 1939  United States Trade with Latin America
Apr. 07, 1938  Protection of American Interests in Mexico
Mar. 04, 1936  Peace Machinery in the Americas
Sep. 27, 1933  Trade Relations with Latin America
Oct. 16, 1928  Pan American Arbitration Conference
Jan. 12, 1928  The Sixth Pan American Conference
Jan. 10, 1927  American Policy in Nicaragua
Dec. 27, 1926  Relations Between Mexico and the United States
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean