Excerpt from The Department of State Bulletin, Vol. 3: Numbers 54-79, July 6-December 28, 1940
Delivered at the third session of the Conference on International Relations of the Institute of Latin Ammi can Studies, at the University of Texas, Austin, Tex, July 2, 1940.
Although the individual nations of Latin America possess economic personalities which in some cases are as different from one another as from that of the United States, and while it is therefore difficult to indulge in generalities applying to 20 nations, there are nevertheless certain basic economic factors common to all of them.
The economy of the republics of Latin Amer ica is closely linked with that of the world because of the position of those countries as producers of raw materials for export, upon the sale of which they depend to a large extent for means of covering the debit items in their bal ances of international payments. One of the most significant developments during the last decade has been the loss of control by many latin-american nations of the proceeds of a considerable part of their exports through the operation of bilateral agreements with Euro pean countries which forced such proceeds to be utilized only for imports from such countries or for specific financial purposes. Since the na tions of Latin America have remained to a con siderable extent producers of primary goods for world markets, their exports have been highly sensitive to conditions in world markets over which those nations have had little control. So long as the trend continues toward bilateral trade, and controls of the proceeds of Latin American exports are operated as they have been in recent years or increased by European importing nations, the more vulnerable the southern countries of the Western Hemisphere will become to pressure from abroad. We can not fail to take note of the possibility of such pressure being applied for other than economic ends.
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