Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews the evolution of US foreign trade and trade policy from the colonial period to the present. International trade has been a small but important part of the US economy throughout the country’s history. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to levy import duties. The use of this power has been extremely controversial ever since, with the political debate revolving over whether tariffs on imports should be high or low. This debate has pitted export-oriented producers against domestic producers facing foreign competition. After the Smoot Hawley tariff of 1930, which coincided with the Great Depression, protectionism was given a bad name and the United States began to turn to reciprocal trade agreements with other countries. The led to the formation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 and later agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.