Reciprocity as a policy furnished
the keynote of President McKinley’s address at the Pan-American
Exposition on Thursday. He told his hearers that isolation is no
longer possible or desirable, and that no nation can longer be indifferent
to any other. For the United States, in particular, the period of
exclusiveness is past. A policy of good will [sic] and friendly
trade relations will, the President said, prevent reprisals. Measures
of retaliation are not in harmony with the spirit of the times,
while reciprocity treaties are, and if some of our tariffs are no
longer needed for revenue or to encourage and protect our industries
at home, why should they not be used to extend and promote our markets
abroad? We must not, Mr. McKinley urged, repose in fancied security
that we can forever sell everything and buy little or nothing. If
such a thing were possible it would not be best for us or for those
with whom we deal. We should take from our customers such of their
products as we can use without harm to our industries and labor.
What we produce beyond our domestic consumption must have a vent
abroad. The excess must be relieved through a foreign outlet, and
we should sell everywhere we can, and buy wherever the buying will
enlarge our sales and thereby make a greater demand for home labor.
The advocacy of this policy by the President is no surprise to those
who have watched the course of his recent development.