Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, 1930, passed by the U.S. Congress; it brought the U.S. tariff to the highest protective level yet in the history of the United States. President Hoover desired a limited upward revision of tariff rates with general increases on farm products and adjustment of a few industrial rates. A congressional joint committee, however, in compromising the differences between a high Senate tariff bill and a higher House tariff bill, arrived at new high rates by generally adopting the increased rates of the Senate on farm products and those of the House on manufactures. Despite wide protest, the tariff act, called the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act because of its joint sponsorship by Representative Willis C. Hawley and Senator Reed Smoot, both Republicans, was signed (June, 1930) by President Hoover. The act brought retaliatory tariff acts from foreign countries, U.S. foreign trade suffered a sharp decline, and the depression intensified.
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