The Diplomatic Value of Trade: America's Commercial Cold War with Ryan Haddad

Trade wars are nothing new, and the weapons used to fight them sometimes backfire. During the Cold War, the United States took a carrot-and-stick approach to managing foreign relations through trade. The results were decidedly mixed.

In this episode of Stories from the Stacks, Ryan Haddad, PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, discusses the use of trade controls by the United States government to pursue foreign policy goals during the Cold War.

Using Hagley Library collections, including the records of the National Foreign Trade Council and the National Association of Manufacturers, Haddad discovered how Cold War policies designed to promote free trade in the West, and to isolate the Communist bloc, forced American firms to navigate uncertain diplomatic conditions while trying to maintain market share and profitability. 

Haddad received an Exploratory Grant from the library’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society to support his use of Hagley Library collections. More information on funding opportunities for research at Hagley can be found here.

Interview by Amrys Williams. Produced by Gregory Hargreaves.

Image: Nation's Business cover, January 1962, Nationbiz_196201, Nation's Business (f HF1 .N38), Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807.