Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

By Douglas A. Irwin | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Foreign Retaliation

IN THE THREE YEARS after the Smoot-Hawley tariff was enacted, protectionist trade measures proliferated, world trade collapsed, and the Depression intensified around the world. Smoot-Hawley’s contribution to this economic disaster has been debated ever since. While the tariff was clearly a step in the direction of higher trade barriers, it was not responsible for most of the spread of protectionism around the world in the early 1930s. However, the Smoot-Hawley tariff was very damaging from the standpoint of U.S. commerce because it led other countries to pursue trade policies that explicitly discriminated against the United States. This discrimination was much more harmful to U.S. exports than simply the rise in foreign trade barriers because it diverted existing trade away from the United States and gave it to other countries. In addition, Smoot-Hawley damaged the economies of neigh

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Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Domestic Politics 11
  • Chapter 2 - Economic Consequences 101
  • Chapter 3 - Foreign Retaliation 144
  • Chapter 4 - Aftermath and Legacy 184
  • Appendix - The Economists' Statement against the Smoot-Hawley Tariff 222
  • Acknowledgments 227
  • References 229
  • Index 239
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