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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 254-255 of Jeffry Frieden’s 2006 book, Global Capitalism; Frieden here is writing about the presidential administration of Franklin Roosevelt and its efforts to prepare for the post-WWII period (links added; footnotes deleted):

imagesThe emerging American vision began with freer trade. Secretary of State [Cordell] Hull, who dominated the administration’s trade policy, held the traditional free trade views of a Democrat from the export-oriented South.  He pushed the president to negotiate tariff reductions under the terms of Hull’s pet Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934.  His motives were not just to find markets for American goods, for he had a Wilsonian belief that, as he put it, “unhampered trade dovetailed with peace; high tariffs, trade barriers, and unfair economic competition, with war.”  Skeptics would scoff, Hull said, but “it is a fact that war did not break out between the United States and any country with which we had been able to negotiate a trade agreement.  It is also a fact that, with very few exceptions, the countries with which we signed trade agreements joined together in resisting the Axis.  The political line-up followed the economic line-up.”  As one of Hull’s supporters put it, “If soldiers are not to cross international borders, goods must do so.”

DBx: This supporter of Hull was Otto T. Mallery, but misspelled by Frieden as “Maller.”  (The relevant footnote in Frieden’s book points to, as Frieden’s source for Mallery’s quotation, page 37 of Alfred E. Eckes, A Search for Solvency: Bretton Woods and the International Monetary System, 1941-1971 [1975]).  Mallery’s observation is one that is commonly attributed to Bastiat, although, as David Hart points out, there’s no evidence that Bastiat ever wrote such a thing – despite the indisputable reality that he would have agreed with it.  (See also here.)