As Secretary of State, Blaine was particularly energetic in fostering closer relations with the Latin American nations. During his second term in office he was able to bring about and preside over the first Pan-American Congress (see Pan-Americanism), thus laying the foundation for subsequent meetings, and the Pan-American Union was established. Blaine hoped to increase commercial relations among American nations by reciprocal tariff treaties, and although the McKinley Tariff Act prevented this, his idea of tariff "reciprocity" gained some credence. He also concluded a treaty with Great Britain to submit the fur-seal controversy to arbitration (see under Bering Sea).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.