Tariff Reciprocity and Trade Agreements

January 25, 1940

Report Outline
Renewal of the Trade Agreements Act
Tariff Reciprocity as a Political Issue
Executive vs. Legislative Tariff-Making
Congress and the Trade Agreements Act

Renewal of the Trade Agreements Act

When Congress convened, January 3, it was already apparent that the administration's trade-agreements program would provide a leading controversial issue of the session and possibly of the ensuing presidential campaign. The question engaged the immediate attention of the Ways and Means Committee, which opened hearings, January 11, on a resolution to continue in effect until 1943 the Trade Agreements Act, passed originally in 1934, extended in 1937, and due to expire by limitation June 12, 1940. While the House of Representatives is expected to approve the continuing resolution? without change, there is every indication that determined efforts will be made in the Senate, if not to kill the resolution outright, to attach a provision subjecting future trade agreements to ratification by the upper house, or by both houses, of Congress.

Hull Program and Post-war Economic Rebuilding

Making a strong plea in his annual message for renewal of the powers granted by the Trade Agreements Act, President Roosevelt declared that “the trade-agreements area should be extended as an indispensable part of the foundation of any stable and durable peace.”

The old conditions of world trade [he said] made for no enduring peace, and when the time domes, the United States most use its influence to open up the trade channels of the world in order that no nation need feel compelled in later days to seek by force of arms what it can well gain by peaceful conference. For this purpose we need the Trade Agreements Act even more than when it was passed.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States and Foreign Trade
Jul. 16, 2021  U.S. Trade Policy
Sep. 13, 2013  U.S. Trade Policy
Jun. 07, 1996  Rethinking NAFTA
Jan. 29, 1993  U.S. Trade Policy
Dec. 08, 1989  North America Trade Pact: a Good Idea?
Sep. 05, 1986  Trade Trouble-Shooting
Mar. 04, 1983  Global Recession and U.S. Trade
Jan. 12, 1979  Trade Talks and Protectionism
Dec. 16, 1977  Job Protection and Free Trade
May 14, 1976  International Trade Negotiations
Dec. 06, 1961  Revision of Trade and Tariff Policy
Mar. 21, 1960  European Trade Blocs and American Exports
Jan. 30, 1958  Foreign Trade Policy
Jul. 28, 1954  Foreign Trade and the National Interest
Jan. 25, 1940  Tariff Reciprocity and Trade Agreements
Jun. 11, 1935  Foreign Trade Policy of the United States
Jan. 25, 1934  Foreign Trade and Currency Stability
Nov. 01, 1930  Foreign Trade of the United States
Sep. 27, 1923  Combining for the Import Trade
Exports and Imports
Trade Negotiating Authority