The Tariff Act of 1930 (codified at 19 U.S.C. ch. 4), otherwise known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff or Hawley–Smoot Tariff, was an act sponsored by Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley and signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels.
The dutiable tariff level (this does not include duty-free imports—see Tariff levels below) under the act was the second highest in the U.S. in 100 years, exceeded by a small margin by the Tariff of 1828. The great majority of economists then and ever since view the Act, and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by America's trading partners, as responsible for reducing American exports and imports by more than half. According to Ben Bernanke, "Economists still agree that Smoot-Hawley and the ensuing tariff wars were highly counterproductive and contributed to the depth and length of the global Depression." The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was one of the causes of The Great Depression as foreign trade with Europe as well as China, which the United States had just recently set up an "Open-Door Policy" with, was vital to the economy.(Wikipedia)