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The supply of manufactured products in the United States is increasing faster than the demand. The products of our St. Louis factories are also increasing much faster than is the population of its possible domestic trade territory.
This warning opens a report prepared by a special committee on foreign trade. Around 1913, the Business Men's League of St. Louis had charged the committee with studying foreign trade for St. Louis merchants, who already boasted annual exports valued at $40 million. The report noted that in order to exploit the Panama Canal, which would open soon, manufacturers "must begin the conquest of the foreign market at once."
The Foreign Trade …