Chapter

Enacting a Multilateral Framework for Finance

Kathryn C. Lavelle

in Legislating International Organization

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765348
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918959 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765348.003.0002
Enacting a Multilateral Framework for Finance

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This chapter compares the ratification struggle over the Treaty of Versailles with the passage of the Bretton Woods Agreement Act to demonstrate the legislature’s concern with how multilateralism would alter the checks and balances of American government, and how the institution of Congress was initially able to shape outcomes in international organizations through procedural maneuvers. The chapter argues that in order to surmount the challenges that the Covenant of the League of Nations met in the Senate, the Roosevelt administration included representatives of both political parties and key interest groups early in the process of planning the IMF and World Bank. The administration worked through the National Foreign Trade Council to mobilize a wide-ranging constituency in American civil society. As the act moved through the House and Senate, compromise with powerful committee chairs and the American Bankers Association secured passage. Compromises reached created mechanisms through which initial efforts at congressional advocacy could occur, primarily the National Advisory Council. Nonetheless, during the enactment stage, the Treasury Department organized interest groups with the goal of US membership. Ongoing effort would be required for them to play a major role in the world economy.

Keywords: Treaty of Versailles; League of Nations; Bretton Woods Agreement Act; multilateralism; American Bankers Association; National Foreign Trade Council; Treasury Department; National Advisory Council

Chapter.  11071 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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