TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT. The Tripartite Agreement was an international monetary agreement entered into by France, England, and the United States in September 1936 to stabilize their currencies both at home and in the exchange. Following 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, particularly France. At the same time, in both England and America there was a sharpening of the controversy between "sound money" advocates, who urged stabilization, and those who favored complete demonetization of gold and a managed currency. The gold bloc countries were also urging stabilization of sterling and the dollar, because their fluctuating values were having an adverse influence on the exchange value of gold bloc currencies. Because devaluation had raised import prices and lowered export prices in England and America, the gold bloc countries would eventually have to devaluate unless international stabilization was agreed on by leading monetary powers. Parallel to the announcement of the Tripartite Agreement, France devalued its currency.
By this informal and provisional agreement the three powers pledged to refrain from competitive depreciation and to maintain currencies at existing levels as long as that attempt did not interfere seriously with internal prosperity.