- Reciprocal Tariff Act
The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (enacted
June 12, 1934, ch. 474, USStat|48|943, usc|19|1351) provided for the negotiation of tariffagreements between the united Statesand separate nations, particularly Latin American countries. ["The Institutional Roots of American Trade Policy: Politics, Coalitions, and International Trade." Michael Bailey, Judith Goldstein, and Barry Weingast. World Politics, Volume 49, No. 3, 1997."] It resulted in a reduction of duties.
Franklin D. Rooseveltwas authorized by the Act for a fixed period of time to negotiate on bilateral basis with other countries and then implement reductions in tariffs (up to 50% of existing tariffs) in exchange for compensating tariff reductions by the partner trading country. Roosevelt was also instructed to maximize market access abroad without jeopardizing domestic industry, and reduce tariffs only as necessary to promote exports in accord with the "needs of various branches of American production." A most favored nationclause was also included.
The Act was a response to the
Hawley-Smoot tariffbill, which showed that Congress was unable to create a coherent, non-biased trade policy. It was used to negotiate tariff-reduction agreements with Canada, Argentina, Uruguayand Great Britain, among others. Many of its provisions were prototypes of the principal-supplier rules that formed a major part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT) after 1945.
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