Secretary of state under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cordell Hull championed reduction of economic barriers to international trade. Being colleagues before he was elected president, after the election, Roosevelt named Hull to head the State Department because of his reputed influence with Southern Democrats and his appeal to conservative internationalists. Hull's principal contribution to U.S. diplomacy was the Reciprocal Trade Agreements program, begun in 1934, which reflected his conviction that reduced tariff barriers worldwide would prevent future wars. He also championed the Good Neighbor Policy, aimed at improving relations with the Latin American nations
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