HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Trump preparing withdrawa... » Reply #19

Response to karynnj (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 11:17 PM

19. It Is Understandable That Trump Would Push a Herbert Hoover Type of Trade Policy...

When campaigning for president during 1928, Republican Herbert Hoover's promise to help domestic industries from being undercut by cheaper foreign goods by increasing tariffs. He won, and was successful in increasing tariffs on many competing European goods, which help drive Europe into a depression. This depression helped plant the seeds for extremism.

I can see why Trump would would push a xenophobic, isolationist trade and immigration policy. It does resonate well with the fears of many Americans by scapegoating the "other" while ignoring the obvious targets of oppression, which are elites at home who enjoy low taxes and whose industries might also benefit from a competitive advantage relative to foreign competitors. Indeed, Brexit showed that trade and immigration were nice code words for demonizing non-white immigrants with the UK suddenly trying to maintain its trade agreements even as it heightens barriers to immigration. Populist rhetoric is about scapegoats and racism disguised as concern for American workers.

This is why people of color need to hold the left and Democrats accountable. Sadly, they too are starting to adopt and echo Trump's anti-trade and anti-immigration rhetoric. It is too easy to scapegoat foreigners for domestic ills resulting from a system that is tilted against American workers.


Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, formally United States Tariff Act of 1930, also called Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, U.S. legislation (June 17, 1930) that raised import duties to protect American businesses and farmers, adding considerable strain to the international economic climate of the Great Depression. The act takes its name from its chief sponsors, Senator Reed Smoot of Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Representative Willis Hawley of Oregon, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. It was the last legislation under which the U.S. Congress set actual tariff rates.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act raised the United States’s already high tariff rates. In 1922 Congress had enacted the Fordney-McCumber Act, which was among the most punitive protectionist tariffs passed in the country’s history, raising the average import tax to some 40 percent. The Fordney-McCumber tariff prompted retaliation from European governments but did little to dampen U.S. prosperity. Throughout the 1920s, however, as European farmers recovered from World War I and their American counterparts faced intense competition and declining prices because of overproduction, U.S. agricultural interests lobbied the federal government for protection against agricultural imports. In his 1928 campaign for the presidency, Republican candidate Herbert Hoover promised to increase tariffs on agricultural goods, but after he took office lobbyists from other economic sectors encouraged him to support a broader increase. Although an increase in tariffs was supported by most Republicans, an effort to raise import duties failed in 1929, largely because of opposition from centrist Republicans in the U.S. Senate. In response to the stock market crash of 1929, however, protectionism gained strength, and, though the tariff legislation subsequently passed only by a narrow margin (44–42) in the Senate, it passed easily in the House of Representatives. Despite a petition from more than 1,000 economists urging him to veto the legislation, Hoover signed the bill into law on June 17, 1930.

Smoot-Hawley contributed to the early loss of confidence on Wall Street and signaled U.S. isolationism. By raising the average tariff by some 20 percent, it also prompted retaliation from foreign governments, and many overseas banks began to fail. (Because the legislation set both specific and ad valorem tariff rates [i.e., rates based on the value of the product], determining the precise percentage increase in tariff levels is difficult and a subject of debate among economists.) Within two years some two dozen countries adopted similar “beggar-thy-neighbour” duties, making worse an already beleaguered world economy and reducing global trade. U.S. imports from and exports to Europe fell by some two-thirds between 1929 and 1932, while overall global trade declined by similar levels in the four years that the legislation was in effect.

In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, reducing tariff levels and promoting trade liberalization and cooperation with foreign governments. Some observers have argued that by deepening the Great Depression the tariff may have contributed to the rise of political extremism, enabling leaders such as Adolf Hitler to improve their political strength and gain power.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
DonViejo Sep 2017 OP
bettyellen Sep 2017 #1
forgotmylogin Sep 2017 #12
bettyellen Sep 2017 #13
VMA131Marine Sep 2017 #2
TomCADem Sep 2017 #3
elleng Sep 2017 #5
TomCADem Sep 2017 #6
elleng Sep 2017 #7
Ford_Prefect Sep 2017 #8
elleng Sep 2017 #17
Adrahil Sep 2017 #15
karynnj Sep 2017 #9
elleng Sep 2017 #16
LineLineLineNew Reply It Is Understandable That Trump Would Push a Herbert Hoover Type of Trade Policy...
TomCADem Sep 2017 #19
Corgigal Sep 2017 #4
applegrove Sep 2017 #10
sandensea Sep 2017 #11
Sugar Smack Sep 2017 #14
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Sep 2017 #18
Please login to view edit histories.