On June 17th, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, making it the law of the land. The act, cosponsored by Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis Hawley, raises protective tariffs on over twenty thousand imported goods. Smoot-Hawley and the ensuing retaliatory levies, come at a time when global economic growth is declining, and it becomes a major factor in reducing imports and exports by half during the coming Great Depression.
It has been a while since investors and the financial media have talked much about tariffs. Weeks, by my count, which only seems like months. But it still qualifies as a long time given the modern attention span of homo sapiens. It is probably just a matter of time, especially given the anniversary of the most infamous trade legislation ever passed. One hopes that we have learned enough from history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, like piling up barriers to trade during a global economic slowdown. But, then again, that type of evolution can be difficult.
Don't wait for history to happen...