TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT. The tripartite agreement was an international monetary agreement concluded in September 1936 by France, England and the United States to stabilize their currencies both domestically and on the stock exchange. After the suspension of the gold standard by England in 1931 and the United States in 1933, a serious imbalance developed between their currencies and those of the gold bloc countries, especially France. At the same time, both in England and in America, controversy has intensified between the proponents of „solid money“, who insisted on stabilization, and those who favoured a total demonization of gold and an administered currency. The Gold Bloc countries also insisted that the pound sterling and the dollar stabilize because their fluctuating values had a negative impact on the market value of the gold block currencies. As devaluation pushed up import prices and lowered export prices in England and America, the Gold Bloc countries would eventually have to devalue if the major monetary powers failed to reach an agreement on international stabilization. Parallel to the announcement of the tripartite agreement, France devalued its currency. (2) The Minister of Finance communicated on the same day that the United Kingdom and France had fulfilled the conditions set out in its declaration of purchase of gold from the United States for export or immediate allocation. On 24 November 1936, he announced that, because of the principles of the tripartite declaration of 25 September 1936, reciprocal agreements had also been concluded with Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Return The tripartite agreement was informal and provisional.  Subcribative nations have agreed to refrain from competitive devaluation in order to maintain monetary values at their current level, provided that this attempt does not seriously affect domestic prosperity.
France devalued its currency as part of the agreement. „International monetary cooperation has never been more urgent and binding than it is today. Max Harris sheds light on the premise by deploying new evidence of one of the most important, but also forgotten, episodes of 20th century international cooperation, the 1936 tripartite agreement. There are important lessons for policy makers. For the rest of us, who knew that the history of money could be so entertaining? (1) Sometimes referred to as „gentlemen`s tripartite agreement“ or „arrangement.“ In a statement by Foreign Minister Cordell Hull, a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 26 September 1936 indicated in part that the tripartite agreement was an international monetary agreement concluded by the United States, France and Great Britain in September 1936 to stabilize the currencies of their nations, both domestically and in international foreign exchange markets.  „Using primary data sources, including archives recently published by the Bank of England, Max Harris shows that the tripartite monetary stabilization agreement between the United States, France and the United Kingdom in the late 1930s took on many features of the post-war Bretton Woods system.