No figure in U.S. Congressional history exemplifies the passion and support for internationalism and regionalism as Senator Jacob K. Javits (Rep-NY). During his political career he became the most prominent legislative advocate of regionalism and became intimately involved with U.S. efforts to promote the economic integration of Latin America in the 1960s. His ardent support in favor of the cause of regionalism went far beyond any effort by his fellow senators. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Javits actively supported NATO, the European Common Market and Latin American economic integration.

Javits’ interest in Latin American economic integration (unionism) coincided with the massive onslaught of communist insurgencies that appeared during the 1950s and 1960s in Latin America. Many American leaders at that time sought innovative ways to stave off communist victories in Latin America. Javits believed that the key to defeating the extreme left was economic development, and that the only effective method to achieve that goal was economic integration.