Level of Education



This paper questions whether protective tariffs are counterproductive as political-influence tools. This thesis will examine protective tariffs implemented throughout history in different circumstances and levels of technological development. In every case examined, the results and principles behind protective tariffs remain constant. The historical examples utilized in this research include Civil War taxes, the Smoot-Hawley tariff, and Trump’s tariffs against China in 2018. Each of these examples serve as consequential representations of protectionist tariff policy. Protectionist tariffs artificially raise prices and restrict markets while simultaneously propping up inefficient industries. Thus, this paper explores whether the benefits of protectionist tariffs justify their use as political influence tools considering their negative side effects.