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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was the last general tariff legislation passed by Congress.
That is certainly what happened after Congress approved the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930 in a misguided effort to create American jobs.
This observation is hardly new; the debate over free trade came to a head just before the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, (9) which put a serious kibosh on international exchange.
That the 1920s was a decade of real innovation and wealth production is indisputable, as is the fact that myriad controls, starting with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, exacerbated and sustained the crash.
This policy prescription is not only forbidden by the World Trade Organization (WTO), to which the United States subscribes, but such protectionism could potentially set off a global trade war, similar to the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1929, which exacerbated and prolonged the Great Depression.
In 1930, the US government passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which raised tariffs on 20,000 imported goods--despite a petition opposing the legislation signed by 1,028 economists.
As businesses started to fail, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930 to protect American companies.
As matters stand, these hapless farmers from Africa and Latin America, to name a few, are already facing unfair competition from US producers who take shelter under the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 whose protectionist legislation has become a convenient tool for their advocates around the world.
Shades of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act - a classic piece of US protectionism that arguably turned the 1930s depression into a world war - have, commentators say, been hanging over the annual Davos bun fight in recent days.
That could lead to protectionism in a number of guises, even if the United States steers clears of anything like the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that prompted a series of retaliatory tariff hikes around the world.