The Problems of Foreign Trade
The changes were evident both in the content and direction of foreign trade and in the development of American investments in the outside world. Regardless of wars, depressions, changing policies of government, or the rise and decline of the merchant marine, American foreign trade has been characterized by rapid expansion. The shift from agriculture to manufactured products in the export trade, a shift already discernible in the 1890's, was more accentuated in foodstuffs than in other agricultural products and more evident in breadstuffs than in provisions. Rapid increase and diversification of American manufacturing influenced the nature of American imports as well as exports. The most successful and longest lived of reciprocity treaties, that with Cuba lasted until superseded by the Trade Agreement of 1934. Even a casual examination of the Canadian reciprocity rates makes it clear that it favored American manufacturers at the expense of American food farmers.