Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act

Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act

The Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909 (ch. 6, 36 Stat. 11), named for Representative Sereno E. Payne (R-NY) and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich (R-RI), began in the United States House of Representatives as a bill lowering certain tariffs on goods entering the United States.cite news|title=Vote on Tariff Law Forced in the House|url=|work=The New York Times|date=April 2, 1910|accessdate=2008-02-06] It was the first change in tariff laws since the Dingley Act of 1897.cite encyclopedia|title=Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act|url=|encyclopedia=The Columbia Encyclopedia|edition=6th|year=2007|publisher=Columbia University Press|accessdate=2008-02-06] Because the Republican Party had called for reduction of the tariff in 1908, President William Howard Taft held a special session in Congress in 1909 to discuss the issue. Thus, the House of Representatives immediately passed a tariff bill sponsored by Sereno E. Payne calling for reduced tariffs. However, the United States Senate speedily substituted a bill written by Nelson W. Aldrich calling for fewer reductions and more increases in tariffs.

By the time it ran through the Senate, there had been tacked on so many amendments to the original bill that it raised many tariff standings. 650 tariff schedules were lowered, 220 raised, and 1,150 left unchanged. Congress passed the bill officially on April 9, 1909. [cite web|title=Congress passes Payne-Aldrich Act|url=|work=This Day in History 1909|publisher=The History Channel|accessdate=2008-02-06]

Impact of the bill

The bill greatly angered Progressives, who were beginning to stop supporting President William Howard Taft. The debate over the tariff split the Republican Party into Progressives and Old Guards and led the split party to lose the 1910 congressional election. [cite book
last = Bailey
first = Thomas A.
authorlink = Thomas A. Bailey
coauthors = Kennedy, David M.; Cohen, Lizabeth
title = The American Pageant
publisher = Houghton Mifflin Company
date = 1998
location = Boston, Massachusetts
pages = pp. 699-700
isbn =0669397288
] In the 1912 presidential elections, because of the split votes amongst Republicans in most states, Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson was elected as president. [Ibid., p. 705.]

The bill enacted an income tax on the privilege of conducting business as a corporation, which was affirmed in the Supreme Court decision, Flint v. Stone Tracy Co. (also known as the Corporation Tax case).

By 1915, tobacco exports from The Philippines to America had annually increased as a result of the bill passing. [cite web|last=Jacobson|first=H.O.|title=Tobacco in the Philippines|url=|publisher=Bureau of Printing|date=1915]


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