Cuban Reciprocity Treaty


Cuban Reciprocity Treaty
(1902)
   A treaty reducing tariff barriers between the United States and the newly independent Republic of Cuba by 20 percent or more and successfully binding the Cuban economy to the United States. Since as early as 1899, representatives of the United States military government in Cuba had called for trade reciprocity as a way to rebuild the agricultural sector of the Cuban economy destroyed by the Cuban Revolution. Initial efforts met with stiff resistance in the U.S. Congress where representatives of the American Beet Sugar Association successfully countered a massive lobbying campaign organized by Military Governor Leonard Wood, Cuban sugar interests, and the American Sugar Refining Company. Efforts to pass legislation to lower the tariff and to ratify the treaty failed in 1902. Intense pressure from President Theodore Roosevelt, changes in the world economic situation, and the buyout of many in the beet sugar industry by the American Sugar Refining Company, allowed the treaty to pass in 1903. The treaty succeeded in binding the Cuban economy, primarily depended on agricultural products like sugar, to the American manufacturing economy.
   FURTHER READING:
    Healy, David. The United States in Cuba, 1898-1902: Generals, Politicians, and the Search for Policy . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.
   JAMES PRUITT

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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