Business History Review

Articles

Kennedy, Oil Imports, and the Fair Trade Doctrine

Thomas W. Zeilera1

a1 Thomas W. Zeiler is a lecturer in history at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In his efforts to secure passage of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, John F. Kennedy had to placate not only oil and coal interests at home, but also traditional trade partners like Venezuela abroad, and he also had to foster the broad national security aim of retaining domestic oil reserves. This article argues that Kennedy was able to utilize a fair trade doctrine to gain enactment of legislation that would both lower trade barriers and assist domestic producers hurt by increased imports.

Thomas W. Zeikr is a lecturer in history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1989. He is the author of an article on John F. Kennedy's trade policy in Diplomatic History (1987), and he is presently doing research for a history of the international trade order from 1941 to 1961.