America, NATO, and West German Foreign Economic Policies, 1949–89

  • James Sperling


The Federal Republic of Germany was committed to a nascent liberal world economy at the time of its creation in 1949. The Bretton Woods agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade were the preexisting frameworks defining the multilateral trade and payments system envisioned by the United States and of which the Federal Republic was to become a part. The liberal monetary and trade regimes nurtured by the United States in the immediate postwar period created a world economy where the macroeconomic policies, exchange rate policies, and trade policies of nations became inexorably intertwined and interdependent. Convertible currencies, low tariff levels amongst the industrial nations of Europe and North America, the chipping away of the remaining nontariff barriers to trade in the Atlantic economy, and the continuing integration of national financial markets have blurred national economic boundaries. One consequence of these developments has been that the economic destiny of the Federal Republic of Germany has been shaped by American economic policy; and another consequence has been that the continued prosperity of western Europe and the Federal Republic has been critical to American national security and economic welfare.


Monetary Policy Foreign Policy Federal Republic European Central Bank European Monetary Union 
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© Emil J. Kirchner and James Sperling 1992

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  • James Sperling

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