On the European Common Market and the Free Trade Area

3 Observations

1) Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and West Germany are the six nations which were negotiating to establish a common market with no internal trade barriers and a common external tariff. The United Kingdom was interested in joining the elimination of trade barriers with these six founding members but having its own external tariff. Other Western European nations showed interest similar to the UK.

2) The United States’ policies were: to support moves to further political and economic strength and cohesion in Western Europe, and devotion to progress toward freer nondiscriminatory multilateral trade and convertibility of currencies. Simply put, the US supported the formation of this common market because it would benefit both the US and the world economy.

3) The United States was particularly interested in arrangements that related to agriculture, had a bearing on the liberalization of import controls affecting dollar goods, and measures both public and private which bear on international trade. Again, the US supports this common market because it would benefit the US especially in its agricultural exports to Europe.

2 Questions

1) As it stood, this cooperation represented progress in the world economy. Later on, when this was incorporated into the Treaty for the UN, they treaty mentioned a common defense policy which might lead to a common defense. Does this sound like the type of alliance which could lead to another World War? If not, then why is this different from alliances earlier in the century?

2) What was happening at the time with diplomacy in Eastern Europe? And how did they perceive this agreement?

1 Interesting Observation

1) Although nothing about communism or the Cold War was mentioned, it was highly probable that the US supported this partly because it helped the six member states resist the influence of communism. The US would do anything at the time to undermine efforts of communist expansion.

4 thoughts on “On the European Common Market and the Free Trade Area

  1. In addition to your observation three, United States also state that this free trade movement should give benefits not only to European countries but also other countries. Judging from this statement, US may regard this movement as a chance to promote a trade with many countries and make a new trading partners.

  2. In regards to your first question, I believe that this treaty is different from the earlier alliances of the century because of the lessons learned from World War II. The structure of the alliance is more flexible and promotes inclusion of other countries to join the European community for economic and social benefits. Because of the Second World war, the European countries realized that a global united front is necessary for progress and their objectives are more clear.

  3. With regards to your observation about the resistance towards communism, I also noted those undertones throughout the document. It was evident by the language of economics and politics that the United States was in favor of this move because of the ideas being consolidated between the countries at the time. Of course they wanted the unification of European nations after the war, but it is important to recognize which nations they promoted the unification of (certainly not the USSR).

  4. I got the impression that the United States was a agreeing to support the Union not because it stimulated economies but more because it helped these countries move away from communism. Every chance the U.S. got at stemming the spread of communism was taken and this could have certainly had a great deal to do with keeping communism at bay.

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