The Return Of Smoot-Hawley

It's bad enough the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate are trying to make a bad situation worse with their poor handling (intentional or otherwise) of the economy. Now they want to bring back a horrible idea that helped turn a moderately severe recession into the Great Depression with their version of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

...[W]e're close to repeating the mother of all policy errors, the one made not in 1937 but in 1930—the one that started the Great Depression. We're on track to resurrect the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.


Last week the House passed the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. It's an amendment that gives dangerous new protectionist powers to the notorious Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, the proximate cause of the global Great Depression, which after all these years is still on the books. Democrats—all but five of whom voted in favor of the bill last week—would do well to remember that in 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran as a free-trader, pledging to lower Smoot-Hawley's tariff walls. The 99 Republicans who voted aye should know that Herbert Hoover's name lives in infamy for erecting them. Instead, Wednesday's vote was a bipartisan move to build those walls higher using currencies as the bricks and mortar.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would mandate that the Department of Commerce take a foreign country's currency interventions into account in determining whether its trading practices are unfair. In the case of China—the target at which this bill is aimed—Commerce would determine that the amount by which the yuan is allegedly undervalued.

When Smoot-Hawley took effect, world trade ground to a halt overnight. Between the tariffs the US now placed upon all kinds of foreign goods and the retaliatory tariffs placed on American goods shipped overseas, all goods became too expensive and the workers and consumers around the world paid the price as economies around the collapsed.

Now the idiots in Congress want to do it all over again! Have these morons learned nothing from history? Wait, of course they haven't. In fact, they're recycling ideas from the FDR era and doing it just as poorly as it was done back then, not bothering to even understand why they were a bad idea than and are an even worse idea now.

If the aim of the Democrats is to devastate the American economy and the world economy, then they're on the right track with this really really dangerous bill.

They are doing just what I expected them to do. I warned you folks about it starting back in January 2009, again in April 2009, then again in September 2009, and once more in June of this year.

It seems they are bound and determined to take us back to the bad old days of the 1930's in America.