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The Exchange

Clashing Over Commerce: Trade Policy During The Civil War, The Great Depression & Beyond

University of Chicago Press

How much should the U.S. be open to business with other countries, and how much should we protect our industries from foreign competition? This question has been at the heart of trade policy for centuries. Now, in his comprehensive new book, author Douglas Irwin gives historical context to our current trade debates.


The Embargo of 1807, also known as "Jefferson's Embargo," was one of the most drastic trade actions in U.S. history. Read more about it here

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff (also known as the Hawley-Smoot Tariff) was a protectionist trade policy to protect farmers from deflation, and had wide-reaching ramifications on trade policy for the United States.

 Cordell Hull, Secretary of State for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, impacted U.S. trade policy significantly during his 11 year tenure. 

Marketplace has a series on the history and misunderstandings around NAFTA