Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

Peddling Protectionism Smoot Hawley and the Great Depression The Smoot Hawley tariff of which raised U S duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels is America s most infamous trade law It is often associated with and sometimes blamed for the o

  • Title: Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression
  • Author: Douglas A. Irwin
  • ISBN: 9780691150321
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Smoot Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America s most infamous trade law It is often associated with and sometimes blamed for the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and WillisThe Smoot Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America s most infamous trade law It is often associated with and sometimes blamed for the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley haunt anyone arguing for higher trade barriers almost single handedly, they made protectionism an insult rather than a compliment In Peddling Protectionism, Douglas Irwin provides the first comprehensive history of the causes and effects of this notorious measure, explaining why it largely deserves its reputation for combining bad politics and bad economics and harming the U.S and world economies during the Depression In four brief, clear chapters, Irwin presents an authoritative account of the politics behind Smoot Hawley, its economic consequences, the foreign reaction it provoked, and its aftermath and legacy Starting as a Republican ploy to win the farm vote in the 1928 election by increasing duties on agricultural imports, the tariff quickly grew into a logrolling, pork barrel free for all in which duties were increased all around, regardless of the interests of consumers and exporters After Herbert Hoover signed the bill, U.S imports fell sharply and other countries retaliated by increasing tariffs on American goods, leading U.S exports to shrivel as well While Smoot Hawley was hardly responsible for the Great Depression, Irwin argues, it contributed to a decline in world trade and provoked discrimination against U.S exports that lasted decades.Peddling Protectionism tells a fascinating story filled with valuable lessons for trade policy today.

    One thought on “Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression”

    1. I usually like good economic history books, but this was a disappointment. No earth-shaking economic revelations or conclusions and it read like an economic term paper. It was perhaps aimed at people who only knew Smoot-Hawley from the extreme myths that have surrounded it and did help to debunk those. However, as the author shows, it was still a lousy piece of legislation, even if it wasn't as bad as some of the non-economists have said it was.

    2. IF YOU think Congress is worse than ever, you weren’t around in 1930. It was then Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff—a piece of protectionist folly that raised the levies on nearly nine hundred categories of imports. Read more

    3. Good overview of various aspects of the Smoot-Hawley tariff. A nice and short read with numerous references to other work for the interested reader. Useful for one interested in the general consensus of the effects of Smoot-Hawley without needing to read the great amount of research deriving from the tariff .

    4. Not being an expert in economic history, I found this to be a surprisingly clear, readable, and well-researched little book on a subject towards which many historians are sadly prone to ill-informed hyperbole

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