US Tariff History

tariff_historyFrom Paul Krugman. To me, it puts any trade war talks in perspective.

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12 Responses to “US Tariff History”


  1. 1 Ciara Pedroncelli November 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    This graph, to be completely honest, was very hard to understand at first. But it is really crazy to see how much tariffs increase and decrease. It is especially interesting to see that tariffs were much higher in the 1930s than they were in the 1990s. But the most interesting event to compare is low tariffs in the 1990s. Tariffs are supposed to bring the country profits. Number one because it is money directly to the government and secondly because it means that consumers in the United States are more likely to buy products made in the United States which helps everyone in the country. But in the 1990s, when tariffs were extremely low, the economy was really good. We were not in a deficit, which is something that does not happen often. I think this shows that maybe we should stick to low tariffs.

  2. 2 Vince Kaehler November 30, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    Although there is a fine line to walk when placing the price of a tariff on a certain country, I believe that it should be higher. in times like these,in which our economy is weak, we should be buying American products. Because the Chinese and other exporting countries have few restrictions and regulations they are able to produce products at a cheaper price then Americans. Americans, when producing a product have many regulations and environmental restrictions that make competing with china and other exporting powerhouses virtually impossible. On the other hand, if we raise the tariffs too high, it will hurt our exports because others will also raise their tariffs as well. Also china will become angry and they are the ones that are buying up all of the US’s debt.

  3. 3 Remy Smith-Lewis December 1, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    It was hard to read at first but very true.

  4. 4 Jacqueline Guerrero December 1, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    To be honest I dont really know how to interpret this graph. The first thing I noticed from this graph is the fluctuation of tariffs, how they have increased and decreased so drastically. The second thing I noticed was that tariffs were very low in the 1990’s which I dont know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. However, our economy was good during the 90’s. So I guess the graph suggests that it is a good for the economy to have low tariffs.

  5. 5 nicholas joy December 2, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    the drop in tariff rates shows how vulnerable us markets are and how much we rely upon other markets.we need to raise tariffs on luxury goods and other non disposable goods that are of less importance to us markets and also tariff products that the us produces nationally as to increase buying of american goods.

  6. 6 Lukas Bradvica December 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    This graph at first glance confused me. I agree with Vince on this matter. We should increase the taxes and tariffs on imported goods, therefore promoting Americans to buy American goods. Along with this America should lower the tariffs and taxes on exports and promote the trade and sale of American goods in other countries.

  7. 7 Chris Griffiths December 7, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    This graph is very interesting because it shows that our country is accepting more and more imports because as trafis decrease imports will increase. This means that as the years have passed on we have become more reliant on other nations to supply us with our goods, which means that we are either not producing as much as before or production is not remaining equal to population growth.

  8. 8 Josh Highness December 7, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    I remember in AP U.S. History when we first started as a nation we had very high tariffs and for awhile a ban on imported goods from Asia. For us it was to make sure we were established as a sovereign nation and was an avenue for the government to receive an “income”
    However it seems that with the induction of income taxes and other sources of revenue for the government and a strong economy we have become dependent upon outsourcing for raw materials and other goods. This could mean good or bad if there is a sudden shift of trade in the future?

  9. 9 Kyle Ray December 9, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    I think this graph is trying to show that Wilson came before his time– he tried to open up the global economy years before the country as a whole caught on and began to allow many more imports

  10. 10 Kirstie Scott December 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    This is interesting to me because it shows that we as a country are becoming more into globalization.

  11. 11 Hayden Scott December 14, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Although its true that this does give some historical perspective to the idea of a trade war I think that its important to remember that the ramifications of tariffs become steeper as we move toward a global economy. I have no love of tariffs for any reason, political or otherwise and view protectionist policies as stifling to growth. I suppose this makes me pretty typical but I find that the outdated tariff system that we have in place now should be completely thrown to the curb, with only protections placed against loss leaders and disincentives for other governments with protective policies, although I admittedly cringe at the possible cycle this could create.

  12. 12 Anna Hernandez December 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    Interesting how taxes were higher and now they are lower, yet people still complain about how high taxes are and how much higher they are getting. Not sure if this chart considers pay from each time period being different but regardless, the ups and downs are shocking.


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