On the Evolution of U.S. Trade Agreements: Evidence from Taussig’s Tariff Commission

Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 475-483, June 2011

Posted: 23 May 2011

See all articles by Stephen Meardon

Stephen Meardon

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 14, 2011

Abstract

The first chairman of the U.S. Tariff Commission, Frank W. Taussig, expected the new body to put an end to “haphazard” and “irresponsible” management of trade policy. Reforming trade agreements was a top priority. In 1922, acting on the Commission’s weighty report, Reciprocity and Commercial Treaties (1919), the State Department initiated a trade-agreements policy centered on the unconditional form of the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle. But after observing the program for a decade, Taussig urged that “the whole present policy should be scrapped.” This essay examines the evolution of U.S. trade agreements from 1919 to 1932 and the reasons for Taussig’s disaffection.

Keywords: Frank W.Taussig, Reciprocity, Tariff Commission, Trade Agreements

JEL Classification: B15, B25, B31, F13

Suggested Citation

Meardon, Stephen J., On the Evolution of U.S. Trade Agreements: Evidence from Taussig’s Tariff Commission (March 14, 2011). Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 475-483, June 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1844863

Stephen J. Meardon (Contact Author)

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics ( email )

9700 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
United States

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