Major Tariff and Trade Legislation
Year Name Description
Primarily for revenue; some protection for "infant
1789 Tariff of 1789
industries;" (Washington administration).
First protective tariff; Clay and Calhoun supported as
1816 Tariff of 1816 part of American System; Southern cotton growers
opposed; (Madison administration).
Further heightening of rates; growing opposition from
1824 Tariff of 1824
South; (Monroe administration).
Higher protective measures for New England mills;
1828 Southerners outraged, including Calhoun; (J.Q.
Moderate reform returned rates to 1824 levels;
1832 Tariff of 1832 unmoved South Carolina sparked Nullification Crisis;
Clay compromise; gradual reduction of rates over time
1833 Tariff of 1833 to 1816 levels; New England states opposed; (Jackson
Upward revision forced by depression following Panic
1842 Tariff of 1842
of 1837; (Tyler administration).
Democrats controlled Congress; West supported tariff
1846 Walker Tariff reduction in hope of selling grain abroad; move
toward tariff for revenue only; (Polk administration).
Downward tariff revision to almost free trade status;
1857 Tariff of 1857
North opposed; (Buchanan administration).
Steadily increased protectionism to help fund Union
Wartime tariff acts war costs; South not represented in Congress during
Civil War; (Buchanan and Lincoln administrations).
Post-war reform tariff, reduced rates on some
1872 Tariff of 1872
manufactured goods; (Grant administration).
Continued downward revision; average rates reduced
1875 Tariff of 1875
by 10 percent; (Grant administration).
Republicans abandoned reform; compromise satisfied
1883 "Mongrel" Tariff
no one; (Arthur administration).
Highest protective tariff to date: average 48 percent;
1890 McKinley Tariff
(B. Harrison administration).
Reform measure crippled by Senate amendments;
1894 Wilson-Gorman Tariff
(Cleveland 2nd administration).
Blatantly protective measure; some rates at 57 percent;
1897 Dingley Tariff
Attempt to lower average level of duties; little
1909 Payne-Aldrich Tariff meaningful reform; Progressives angered; (Taft
Democrats took control of Congress; general duty
1913 reduction soon negated by outbreak of World War I;
federal income tax provision; (Wilson administration).
Republicans returned to power and responded to mini-
depression; raised agricultural rates to protect farmers;
1921 Emergency Tariff
only a stopgap measure until new law written;
Increased rates sharply; president empowered to adjust
1922 rates; Tariff Commission created to advise president;
Raised U.S. duties to an all-time high; 1,000
1930 Hawley-Smoot Tariff economists protested; foreign retaliation; (Hoover
Reciprocal treaties to reduce tariffs and stimulate trade
1934 Hull Trade Pacts
during depression; (F. Roosevelt administration).
General Agreement on
United Nations organization created to seek tariff
1948 Tariffs and Trade
President received authority to negotiate tariff
reductions up to 50 percent; aimed primarily at
1962 Trade Expansion Act
European Economic Community (later European
Union); (Kennedy administration).
GATT talks aimed at tariff reduction, primarily with
"Kennedy Round" Western Europe; approximate 33 percent reductions;
(L. Johnson administration).
GATT talks aimed at non-tariff trade barriers;
"Tokyo Round" included non-GATT members; (Nixon
President given authority to end tariff duties against
1974 Trade Act of 1974 products from developing nations; (Ford
North American Free
U.S., Canada and Mexico end most trade barriers;
1993 Trade Agreement
New GATT agreement signed; World Trade
1994 GATT/WTO Organization (WTO) formed; (Clinton