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Tariff Table

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