What Was the Fordney-McCumber Tariff?

The Fordney-McCumber Tariff was an increase in the tax on imported goods, and it was designed to help American farmers. Passed in 1922, it raised the tariff to 38.5 percent, which was well above the amount established in 1913.

As Europe began to recover from the war, fewer American products were purchased in Europe, which especially hurt American farmers. In an attempt to protect farmers and discourage international trade, the Fordney-McCumber Tariff was passed with the stipulation that the president was allowed to raise or lower a tariff rate by as much as 50 percent as he saw fit to balance foreign and domestic production. The tariff ended up damaging America's economy as other nations responded by raising taxes on American exports.