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Peddling ProtectionismSmoot-Hawley and the Great Depression$
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Douglas A. Irwin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150321

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150321.001.0001

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Aftermath and Legacy

Aftermath and Legacy

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter 4 Aftermath and Legacy
Source:
Peddling Protectionism
Author(s):

Douglas A. Irwin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691150321.003.0005

This chapter assesses the aftermath and legacy of the Smoot–Hawley tariff. Smoot–Hawley gave congressional trade policy making a bad name that persists to this day. Those who enacted it promised economic growth and prosperity, but it was followed instead by plummeting exports and depression. The Tariff Act of 1930, the formal name of the Smoot–Hawley tariff, was the last general tariff revision undertaken by Congress. Four years later, Congress ushered in a new era of U.S. trade policy by delegating power to the president to negotiate agreements with other countries to reduce tariffs. This approach gave the United States its current system, embodied in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and its successor, the World Trade Organization. Yet the lessons of Smoot–Hawley continue to be debated whenever trade policy issues rise to the top of the national agenda.

Keywords:   Smoot–Hawley tariff, protectionism, trade policy, Congress, Tariff Act 1930, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, World Trade Organization

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