IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/nbr/nberch/6899.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

From Smoot-Hawley to Reciprocal Trade Agreements: Changing the Course of U.S. Trade Policy in the 1930s

In: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century

Author

Listed:
  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

Four years after passing the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1930, Congress enacted the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA), which gave the president the authority to undertake tariff-reduction agreements (without Congressional approval) with foreign countries. The resulting trade agreements reduced U.S. tariffs and culminated in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947. Was the Great Depression responsible for bringing about this fundamental shift in U.S. trade policy? This paper analyzes the changes in U.S. trade policy during this period and argues that (i) the Depression as an international phenomenon motivated the unprecedented Congressional delegation of tariff-making powers, (ii) economic changes more the result of World War II than the Depression blunted Republican opposition to the RTAA and ensured its post-war survival.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "From Smoot-Hawley to Reciprocal Trade Agreements: Changing the Course of U.S. Trade Policy in the 1930s," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 325-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6899
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6899.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Crucini, Mario J. & Kahn, James, 1996. "Tariffs and aggregate economic activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 427-467, December.
    2. Crucini, Mario J, 1994. "Sources of Variation in Real Tariff Rates: The United States, 1900-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 732-743, June.
    3. Haggard, Stephan, 1988. "The institutional foundations of hegemony: explaining the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 91-119, December.
    4. Callahan, Colleen M. & McDonald, Judith A. & O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 1994. "Who Voted For Smoot-Hawley?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 683-690, September.
    5. Nelson, Douglas, 1989. "Domestic Political Preconditions of US Trade Policy: Liberal Structure and Protectionist Dynamics," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 83-108, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2012. "Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 146-189, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6899. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.