|To the Congress:
I am requesting the Congress to authorize the Executive to enter into executive commercial agreements with foreign Nations; and in pursuance thereof, within carefully guarded limits, to modify existing duties and import restrictions in such a way as will benefit American agriculture and industry. This action seems opportune and necessary at this time for several reasons.
First, world trade has declined with startling rapidity. Measured in terms of the volume of goods in 1933, it has been reduced to approximately 70 percent of its 1929 volume; measured in terms of dollars, it has fallen to 35 percent. The drop in the foreign trade of the United States has been even sharper. Our exports in 1933 were but 52 percent of the 1929 volume, and 32 percent of the 1929 value.
This has meant idle hands, still machines, ships tied to their docks, despairing farm households, and hungry industrial families. It has made infinitely more difficult the planning for economic ...read full document