Bell Trade Act

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The Bell Trade Act ( Bernabe Act) of 1946, also known as the Philippine Trade Act was an act passed by the United States Congress specifying the economic conditions governing the independence of the Philippines from the United States.

The United States Congress offered $800 million for post World War II rebuilding funds if the Bell Trade Act was ratified by Philippine legislature, which duly approved the measure on July 2, two days before independence from the United States of America.

The Bell Trade Act linked the Philippine economy to the United States economy in several ways:

  • A system of preferential tariffs was established, undermining control over imports and exports by the Philippine government;
  • The Philippine currency, the peso, was pegged to the US dollar;
  • The Philippine government was obligated not to place restrictions on currency transfers from the Philippines to the United States;
  • U.S. citizens and corporations were granted equal access with Philippine citizens to Philippine minerals, forests and other natural resources, despite provisions in the Philippine constitution to the contrary which the act required to be amended.

    Filipino nationalists denounced the Bell Trade Act. Even the reliably pro-American Philippine President Sergio Osmena called it a "curtailment of Philippine sovereignty, virtual nullification of Philippine independence." In 1955, nine years after......
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