The Sugar Tariff as an Issue in the 1932 Campaign
Raise in Sugar Duties by the Hawley-Smoot Act
In Spite of the major importance of the prohibition question in the present campaign, or perhaps partly because of it, both presidential candidates are laying stress upon “economic issues,” and particularly on the tariff. The Democratic platform accuses the Republican party of destroying American foreign trade by its tariff policies and, with the total foreign trade of the United States now only one-third as great in value as it was when the presidential campaign of 1928 got under way, the traditional division of the parties on tariff policy may become a more important election issue than it has been in many years.
The Republican platform has this to say of the tariff: “The Republican party has always been the staunch supporter of the American system of a protective tariff. It believes that the home market …belongs first to American agriculture, industry and labor. No pretext can justify the surrender of that market to such competition as would destroy our farms, mines and factories, and lower the standard of living which we have established for our workers …” And, further, in its farm plank: “The party pledges itself to make such revision of tariff schedules as economic changes require to maintain the parity of protection to agriculture with other industry.”
The Democratic platform says: “We advocate a competitive tariff for revenue, with a fact-finding commission free from executive interference, reciprocal tariff agreements with other nations, and an international economic conference designed to restore international trade and facilitate exchange.”