the problem of foreign retaliation was small indeed. Exports tornFrance fell 54.2 percent from 1929 to 1931, less than the 54.6rnpercent overall decline in U.S. exports. Exports to Switzeriand,rnanother country where citizens marched to protest Smoot-rnHawley, fell only 22.4 percent. In Canada, where some retaliationrnoccurred, U.S. exports fell slightly more than average—rn58.2 percent. However, exports to other major marketsrnunaffected by higher Smoot-Hawley rates declined even morernsharply. U.S. exports to Brazil fell 74 percent, to Colombia 67rnpercent, and to Venezuela 66 percent. In effect, trade data suggestrnthat a decline in global demand associated with the Depressionrnwas far more important an explanation for fallingrnU.S. exports than retaliation against Smoot-Hawley.rnDid President Hoover imprudently reject the sound advicernof more than 1,000 economists who urged him to veto the tariffrnact? Many pundits seem to think that the academicrneconomists understood the economic conditions better thanrnelected officials like President Hoover and members ofrnCongress. But the 1,028 economists who appealed to bothrnCongress and President Hoover made no specific reference tornprovisions of the pending legislation. Their memorial condemnedrnhigher tariffs with general economic arguments. Theyrndid not seem to recognize that the pending bill contained arnflexible provision permitting the President and the Tariff Commissionrnto adjust tariffs in response to changing circumstances.rnGiven the vague nature of the economists’ appeal, bothrnCongress and President Hoover properly spurned the academicrntheorists.rnDid public dissatisfaction with Smoot-Hawley protectionismrncost Chairmen Smoot and Hawley their elective offices inrn1932? Interpretations of ballot-box fury appeal to doctrinairernfree-traders, but they do not conform to the factual record.rnHome-state newspapers in both Oregon and Utah attributedrnthe defeats of Chairmen Hawley and Smoot to nontariff factors.rnWays and Means Committee Chairman Hawley lost in thernMay 1932 Oregon Republican primary to a colorful state official.rnBoth the Salem Oregon Statesman and the Portland Oregonianrncredited the defeat to “local issues.” Obtaining a federalrnsoldier’s hospital for one town in his district, Hawleyrnangered several other localities. Noting that “democracies…rnare ungrateful . . . they are sometimes foolish,” the PortlandrnOregonian stated that “Mr. Hawley lost many votes that hernwould have retained had he let the hospital go to the state ofrnWashington.” Both papers also cited the Prohibition controversy.rnHawley was a “dry,” his opponent a “wet.” Most of all.rnChairman Hawley had served in Congress a quarter century; herndid not even return to Oregon for the primary campaign to rebuildrnhis personal ties with voters. In such circumstances, it isrnnot surprising that voters replaced a 68-year-old incumbentrnwith a popular official 20 years younger. Those dissatisfied withrnSmoot-Hawley, according to the Portland Oregonian, wererntimber interests concerned about inadequate protection, notrnabout excessive tariff increases.rnIn Utah, the 1932 Roosevelt landslide toppled SenatorrnSmoot and other Republican candidates, not dissatisfactionrnwith the protective tariff. According to a New York Times correspondent,rnSmoot was not “discredited, but the victim of a nationwiderndemand for a ‘new deal.'” In losing, he gained morernvotes in Utah than either President Hoover or the Republicanrncandidate for governor. Like Hawley, the 70-year-old Smootrnfell to an opponent some 20 years younger, who also endorsedrnprotection. In the Utah senate election, both candidates werernMormons. Some Mormons may have voted to bring Smootrnhome to devote more time to his responsibilities as an Apostlernof the Mormon Church.rnWas Smoot-Hawley the wrong tariff at the wrong time? Internationalistsrndelight in attributing to Smoot-Hawley thernsubsequent breakdown in world economic and political relationships,rnbut this line of criticism reflects the notion that thernUnited States had a special responsibility to manage the worldrneconomy. In particular, they claim that high American tariffsrncomplicated European efforts to sell goods in the U.S. marketrnand make payments on Wodd War I debts.rnBut Chairmen Smoot and Hawley, as well as a majority inrnCongress, had a different definition of their responsibilities inrn1930. Their loyalties lay with constituents and voters, not internationalrnbankers and bondholders. The immediate concernsrnof American workers, producers, and farmers took priorityrnover abstract and long-term foreign policy concerns. AsrnSmoot said: “This Government should have no apology tornmake for reserving America for Americans. That has been ourrntraditional policy ever since the United States became a nation.rn. . . We will not compromise the independence of this countryrnfor the privilege of serving as schoolmaster for the world. Inrneconomics as in politics, the policy of this Government is,rn’America first.’ The Republican Party will not stand by and seerneconomic experimenters fritter away our national heritage.”rnFor over 60 years the citizens have controlled debate, maligningrnPresident Hoover for approving Smoot-Hawley. Hooverrnsigned the act because it contained a progressive innovation—rna flexible tariff provision permitting the independent TariffrnCommission to modify individual rates subject to presidentialrnapproval. Hoover was no rigid protectionist, but he and hisrnfiiend Smoot, and other Republicans, believed that the Americanrnstandard of living depended on preserving the protectivernsystem. “Economically the United States has advanced farrnahead of the rest of the world behind a protective tariff barrier,”rnSmoot observed in 1932. “The major issue… is ‘Shall thernbarrier be removed so that the American people will have tornslide back down to the economic level of the rest of the world.'”rnIf Smoot, Hoover, and other participants could comment onrnthe controversial North American Free Trade Agreement, theyrnmight offer an unsettling thought: America’s present economicrnproblems result in significant part fiom two generationsrnof misplaced trade priorities. They would blame doctrinairernfree-traders for dismantling the Smoot-Hawley system whilernfailing to obtain meaningful reciprocal access to major foreignrnmarkets for U.S. farm and manufactured products. Hooverrnwould undoubtedly point proudly to his 1932 campaignrnspeeches where he prophesied present difficulties. The end ofrnprotection, he said, would bring “disaster” for American workersrnand farmers as wages and living standards declined. “Grassrnwill grow in streets of a hundred cities, a thousand towns; thernweeds will overrun the fields of millions of farms if that protectionrnbe taken away.”rnTo restimulate the domestic economy and create high-payingrnjobs for American workers, Smoot and Hoover would offerrnthe American people far more than a one-sided GATT traderndeal from the Uruguay Round. They would counsel Clinton tornheed the anxious little people—the workers who made this nationrngreat—instead of the country-club jet-setters determinedrnto make big money moving plants around the wodd in pursuitrnof cheap labor. ‘t^rn26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn