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Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

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Ehsan A.
Nov 19, 2021

What is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930?

1 answer

Nov 19, 2021

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 raised U.S. import duties with the goal of protecting American farmers and other industries from foreign competition. The act is now widely blamed for worsening the severity of the Great Depression in the U.S. and around the world.

Formally called the United States Tariff Act of 1930, the law is commonly referred to as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff or the Hawley-Smoot Tariff. It was sponsored by Sen.

Reed Owen Smoot (R-Utah) and Rep. Willis Chatman Hawley (R-Ore.).

The Smoot-Hawley Act was created to protect U.S. farmers and other industries from foreign competitors.

The Smoot-Hawley Act increased tariffs on foreign imports to the U.S. by about 20%.

At least 25 countries responded by increasing their own tariffs on American goods.

Global trade plummeted, contributing to the ill effects of the Great Depression.

Prior to signing the Act, more than 1000 economists urged President Hoover to veto it.

Hoover's successor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt worked to reduce tariffs and was given more authority to negotiate with heads of state under the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934.

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