Smoot-Hawley Act

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Smoot-Hawley Act

Legislation in the United States, passed in 1930, that raised tariffs on thousands of imports. The idea behind the Act was to protect American jobs, especially those of farmers, from cheap imports. However, the Act is considered to have been a failure because it led to retaliatory measures in foreign countries, which reduced U.S. exports. Some economists consider the Act to have been a contributing cause to the depth of the Great Depression. See also: NAFTA, Trade war.
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Today we must not repeat the mistakes of the US in the 1930s when the ill-advised Smoot Hawley Act raised tariffs on thousands of US goods and led to a beggar-thy-neighbour spiral that saw global trade fall by 60 per cent.