The U.S. State Department also found good use of free trade expansion after World War II. Many in the Department of Foreign Affairs saw multilateral trade agreements as a means of integrating the world in accordance with the Marshall Plan and the Monroe Doctrine. U.S. trade policy has become an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. This search for free trade as diplomacy intensified during the Cold War, when the United States competed with the Soviet Union for relations around the world.  Secretary Hull`s first efforts were to reach reciprocal trade agreements with Latin American countries, a region considered crucial to U.S. trade and security, where rival powers (particularly Germany) gained ground at the expense of American exporters. However, until September 1939, Hull was only able to negotiate agreements with three out of ten South American countries, because the trade agenda was opposed by Latin Americans, who opposed the most favoured national requirement to abandon all bilateral agreements with other countries.
Pressure from Congress, in the name of special interests, to ensure that Latin American countries do not have unrestricted access to the U.S. market, these countries would have been seriously hampered in their efforts to sell their raw materials abroad if they had abolished bilateral agreements with European countries that absorb much of their exports. Although the world has changed dramatically since the FDR passed the Mutual Trade Agreements Act, the basic trade promise remains the same. Well done, trade policy gives American workers the chance to compete in a level playing field, and under the TPA, Congress and the government unite to manage trade with global partners by setting goals and standards that defend American interests and values. The RTAA, which was temporarily updated until 1961, is a multilateral trade negotiation at GATT and negotiations with new Member States.  In negotiating agreements under the RTAA, the United States has generally made direct concessions only to so-called primary suppliers – that is, countries that were or are likely to become the main source or important source of supply for the product under discussion. The concessions were granted in exchange for opening foreign markets to U.S. exports. Due to the Great Depression, tariffs reached historic heights. Members of Congress have generally entered into informal quid-pro-quo agreements, in which they voted in favour of other members` preferential tariffs in order to gain the support of their members. No one took into account the overall toll for U.S. consumers or exporters.
This practice is commonly referred to as logrolling. Roosevelt and key members of his government made sure to put an end to the practice.  RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENTS.