His­tory shows tar­iffs hurt the United States

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE -

Fol­low­ing World War I, Amer­ica with­drew from in­ter­na­tional norms. Pro­tec­tion poli­cies were es­tab­lished re­gard­ing im­ports and im­mi­gra­tion.

The Smoot-Haw­ley Act of 1930 markedly in­creased tar­iffs on all du­tiable im­ports. These tar­iffs, de­signed to help Amer­i­can farm­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers, failed due to re­tal­i­a­tion by the tar­iff-tar­geted coun­tries. Around this same time, Amer­ica cur­tailed im­mi­gra­tion from Europe, se­verely lim­it­ing Jews and Ital­ians.

This is not to say Amer­ica’s ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity af­ter World War I was the main cause of the Great De­pres­sion or the rise of Mus­solini and Hitler, but it helped cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for these dic­ta­tors to emerge.

Some be­lieve the trade wars caused by the tar­iffs pro­duced a cli­mate of dis­trust and bit­ter­ness that con­trib­uted to the eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal crises of the time. The les­son was that fol­low­ing World War II, Amer­i­can pol­icy was based on the view that free trade and peace went hand in hand.

Now Amer­ica is re­turn­ing to the 1920s on tar­iffs and im­mi­gra­tion. Thank good­ness the good Lord watches over chil­dren, drunks and the United States of Amer­ica. Ge­orge J. Mot­say Up­per Ma­cungie Town­ship

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.