During America’s early history, trade taxes were the major source of government revenue, but they were “revenue tariffs” rather than “protectionist tariffs.”
Lawmakers didn’t necessarily want to block imports. This was before America was plagued by an income tax and some source of revenue was needed to finance the government.
It didn’t take long for that original tariff of just 5 percent to climb higher. And it also was just a matter of time before politicians begin imposing special tariffs on selected imports in response to…
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