Economic Planning and the Tariff: An Essay on Social Philosophy

By James Gerald Smith | Go to book overview

APPENDIX VII HISTORY, FUNCTIONS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED STATES TARIFF COMMISSION

Excerpt from Dictionary of Tariff Information, pp. 724-71

The United States Tariff Commission is an independent nonpartisan body whose principal function is to ascertain facts upon the basis of which Congress may determine tariff policies, the rates of duty to make the policies effective, and methods of customs administration, and on which the President may base certain administrative acts in relation to these matters. These functions are described below, following a brief historical account of the development of this agency.


HISTORY

Before the establishment in 1916 of the present Tariff Commission various non-permanent agencies had been created to investigate questions relating to the taiff.

The Revenue Commission of 1865 was established to aid in the improvement of the Civil War revenue laws. In consequence of the termination of the war the contemplated object was modified and the Commission in 1866 confined itself to advising modifications in existing tariff and internal revenue legislation.

Commissioner of revenue . In 1866, the appointment of a special commissioner of revenue was provided, to hold office until 1870. He was to report such modifications of the rates of taxation or of the methods of collecting the revenues, and such other facts pertaining to the trade, industry, commerce, or taxation of the country "as he may find, by actual observation of the operation of the law, to be conducive to the public interest." The commissioner collected a large amount of valuable data, which were reported to Congress.

Tariff Commission of 1882 . In 1882 Congress provided for the appointment of nine commissioners from civil life whose duty it should be "to take into consideration and to thoroughly

____________________
1
This volume was issued by the United States Tariff Commission in 1924, and is now out of print.

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