February 26, 1945

New York Times.

Economic Charter of the Americas

The fundamental economic aspiration of the peoples of the Americas, in common with peoples everywhere, is to be able to exercise effectively their natural right to live decently and work and exchange goods productively in peace and with security.

This aspiration must be given full recognition in the development of a positive economic program. Such an economic program which would enable the peoples of this hemisphere and of the world to achieve higher levels of living is an indispensable factor in preventing the recurrence of war. All the acts and policies of Governments in the economic field must be directed to providing the conditions in which this may be possible.

At the same time, the freedom of action in the economic field that underlies the institutions of political and personal liberty must be preserved and strengthened. Indeed, two pillars on which a positive economic program can be built to satisfy the basic desires of the peoples of the Americas are rising levels of living and the economic liberty that will encourage full production and employment. These basic objectives can be attained only through a sense of security and freedom of opportunity derived from the acceptance of responsibility of all of the Americas for cooperation toward these ends, acceptance of responsibility and of cooperation which will provide full use of labor, management and capital in the efficient economic development of the agricultural, industrial and other resources of the Western Hemisphere.

The basis of rising levels of living is found ultimately in enabling the individual to become more productive. Only through recognition of labor's fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively, by providing labor with conditions of employment and equipment both in agriculture and industry which enable it to produce more per unit of labor, can the people increase their earnings and consumption, enjoy better levels of living, and thereby successfully take their place in an expanding international commerce.

Labor is most productive if production is concentrated on those things in which nature has provided an endowment and if it is based on advanced technology. The effective employment of labor depends upon the initiative of management, the most productive use of capital and natural resources, development of skilled union organization, and cooperation in industrial relations.

Individuals and groups of individuals must be encouraged to undertake new ventures. An atmosphere of confidence based on freedom from economic discrimination is an essential prerequisite to the development of natural and human resources and to the expansion of markets. The ability to trade without discrimination and without undue restriction will, however, provide a solid basis for the political and personal liberties of the peoples.

The economic strength of the Americas, based on rising levels of living and on economic liberty, and attained through cooperation to provide a sense of security and freedom of opportunity, will constitute a beacon of hope to the world. The American republics, basing their positive economic program on the desires of their peoples and on the time-tested methods of social and economic betterment, will lay the groundwork for strengthening the inter-American system to meet war and post-war conditions.

Declaration of Objectives

The American republics collaborating in the war effort, fully aware of their traditionally close relations and of their position and responsibility as an integral part of the world community, declare their firm purpose to collaborate in a program for the attainment of:

(1) The continuation of mobilization of their economic resources until the achievement of total victory.

(2) An orderly transition of the economic life of the Americas from war to peacetime conditions with joint action looking to the maintenance of the economic stability of the American republics during such transition period.

(3) A constructive basis for the sound economic development of the Americas through the development of natural resources; increased industrialization; improvement of transportation; modernization of agriculture; development of power facilities and public works; the encouragement of private investment of capital, managerial capacity and technical skills; and the improvement of labor standards and working conditions, including collective bargaining, all leading to a rising level of living and increased consumption.

Declaration of Principles

The American republics, in the attainment of these ends, recognizing that these objectives form a fundamental aspiration of peoples everywhere and given the cooperation of like-minded nations, declare as their guiding principles:


(1) To direct the economic policies of the American republics toward the creation of conditions which will encourage, through expanding domestic and foreign trade and investment, the attainment everywhere of high levels of real income, employment and consumption free from excessive fluctuations, in order that their peoples may be adequately fed, housed and clothed, have access to services necessary for health, education and well-being and enjoy the rewards of their labor in dignity and in freedom.


(2) To cooperate with other nations to bring about through the elimination of existing forms of discrimination and the prevention of new forms, the employment by all nations of access on equal terms to the trade and raw materials of the world in accordance with the principles of the Atlantic Charter.


(3) To consult at an early date among themselves and with other nations to find a basis for practical and effective cooperative measures to reduce barriers of all kinds to the flow of international trade, and of promoting the cooperative action which must be taken in other fields, particularly the stabilization of currencies, and international investment.


(4) To see early agreed action by governments to prevent these practices by cartels or through other private business arrangements which obstruct international trade, stifle competition and interfere with the maximum efficiency of production and truly competitive prices to consumers.


(5) In order that international economic collaboration may be realistic and effective, to work for the elimination of economic nationalism in all its forms.


(6) To act individually and jointly with each other and with other nations by means of treaties, executive agreements or other arrangements, to assure just and equitable treatment and encouragement for the enterprises, skills and capital brought from one country to another.


(7) As positive steps in international collaboration for the stabilization of currencies and to facilitate the development of productive resources, to seek early action by their Governments with a view to bringing into operation the international monetary fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations.


(8) To promote the system of private enterprise in production which has characterized the economic development of the American republics, to take appropriate steps to secure the encouragement of private enterprise and to remove as far as possible obstacles which retard or discourage economic growth and development, and to refrain from the establishment of State enterprises for the conduct of trade.


(9) To provide, in exceptional cases of important primary commodities in which burdensome surpluses have developed or threaten to develop, appropriate means for the solution of such problems by agreed national and international action by consuming and producing countries looking to the expansion of consumption and readjustment of production with due regard to the interests of consumers and producers and the requirements of an expanding world economy.


(10) To take appropriate steps to assure of progressive economic development, the realization of the objectives set forth in the declaration of Philadelphia, adopted by the International Labor Conference.

Maintenance and Development of Internal Economies of American Republics

Whereas: The third meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American republics resolved that each nation would do everything possible subject to the practical limitations of the existing emergency to supply the others with articles or products essential for the maintenance of the domestic economies of the consuming countries in quantities sufficient to prevent consequences detrimental to the economic life of their peoples.

The American republics here represented have set forth the principles of a positive economic program for the Americas, designed to create rising levels of living based upon the fullest possible utilization of human and natural resources and based upon the opportunity to exchange commodities and technical information with as little restriction as is possible and,

The American republics here represented will put this program into effect progressively as the requirements of the present war and the essential requirements of the war-devastated and liberated areas of the United Nations will permit.

The Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace resolves:

(1) During the period of hostilities the American republics here represented should continue their special efforts to assure a supply of commodities necessary for the conduct of the war and the maintenance of essential civilian economies.

(2) The American republics here represented should make every effort to make capital goods available to each other during the period of hostilities in cases where the end-use is justified by war considerations or during the transition period which will follow the termination of hostilities in Europe and within the limitations of the then existing central mechanisms of the exporting countries where the end-use is justified by the relative urgency of the needs of the receiving countries.

(3) During the period of hostilities and the transition period from war to peace, continued efforts should be made to improve the various transportation systems of the American republics for the purpose of providing more efficient distribution of commodities and products needed for the war and for basic civilian economies.

(4) After the cessation of all hostilities and after the removal of controls necessary during the transitional emergency period, the American republics which produce raw materials, industrial machinery, transportation equipment and other articles necessary for the development of production facilities and for civilian consumption should impose no obstacles to making these items commercially available to other American republics as freely as they are made available to their own citizens and to other countries.

(5) The American republics here represented should be guided by the principle that new enterprises should be well suited to local conditions, such as availability and cost of raw materials, capital, labor and other basic factors and not require the granting on a permanent basis of special governmental assistance in the form of subsidies, restrictive tariffs, or any other preferential measures.

(6) The American republics here represented should facilitate, through appropriate financial cooperation, the acquisition and installation of capital equipment for productive undertakings suited to each country, bearing in mind that private enterprise should be encouraged to undertake and carry for ward economic development and that it is agreed as a basic principle that governments should not enter into competition with private enterprise unless such action is clearly necessary in the public interest.

(7) The American republics here represented should assist economic development through the loan of technicians by facilitating the training of personnel and by encouraging and sponsoring in appropriate ways the interchange of technicians and industrial technology, making full use of the Inter-American Development Commission.

(8) The American republics here represented should place no restriction on the transfer of technical information except for reasons pertaining to military security.

(9) The American republics here represented should by amendment or repeal of burdensome laws and regulations, encourage full utilization of the enterprises, technical knowledge, and capital of other countries in their economic development and should seek to remove discriminations which are im posed on the grounds of nationality against foreign persons or their skills, or against foreign capital.

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