The Good Neighbor Policy during the 1930’s and 1940’s was a policy of non-intervention between the United States and Latin America. This was the United States’ attempt to regain trust and economic relations with Latin America. The Good Neighbor Policy had good intentions of no longer intervening with Latin American policies and governments.
During the 1930’s, the Great Depression effected the U.S. and Latin American nations. After the stock market crash the U.S. went through an economic depression which would in turn affect Latin America. President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to help repair the Latin American economies with the Good Neighbor Policy.
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, he dedicated part of his foreign policy to a policy of the good neighbor. President Roosevelt realized that U.S. intervention was both expensive and ineffective .The Good Neighbor Policy was to create a better economic status for the Latin American nations. Roosevelt withdrew troops and financial advisors, along with relinquishing treaty agreements the Latin Americans found obnoxious such as the Platt Amendment . He also repudiated the Roosevelt Corollary . These retractions gave some Latin Americans trust in the United States and that their intentions were good.
The issue of non-intervention was discussed during the Convention of the Rights and Duties of States. The convention made all states juridically equal and that no state had any right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another state .Secretary Hull also made the condition that the renunciation of intervention was qualified by the “law of nations as generally recognized” . This would suggest that only countries that were legitimately recognized by the U.S. and not countries like Cuba, who would cause problems for the U.S. However, the two big key features of the Good Neighbor Policy was the Reciprocal Trade Agreement.
The Reciprocal Trade Agreement which would provide economic increase through trade. Congress authorized President Roosevelt to lower or raise existing tariffs by as much as 50 percent in response to actions by other countries . In 1940 the U.S. gave Brazil a 45 million dollar credit to build and operate a steel mill. They also accepted Mexico’s expropriation of U.S. oil companies with in Mexico and helped write the Venezuelan oil bill of 1943 which required U.S. oil companies to share at least 50 percent of their profits .This was a big step in the right direction for the United States to repair relations with Latin America. Even though there were some Latin American countries who were skeptical of the situation, eleven countries signed the agreements including Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Venezuela . These agreements were to establish more trust in the United States for the Latin American countries, but some Latin Americans were unconvinced of the United States’ intentions.