Hawley’s Call to Abolish the WTO Echoes an Ominous Past

Hawley’s Call to Abolish the WTO Echoes an Ominous Past
Sen. Josh Hawley during President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, Washington, Jan. 21, 2020 (AP photo by J. Scott Applewhite).

In an op-ed last week, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, called for the abolition of the World Trade Organization and the restoration of “America’s economic sovereignty.” A few days later, the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate had surged to almost 15 percent since the coronavirus pandemic hit—the highest level since the Great Depression. The timing of Hawley’s article could not help but bring to mind the Tariff Act of 1930, also known as the Hawley-Smoot tariff after its sponsors Rep. Willis Hawley of Oregon (no relation to the senator) and Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah. […]

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