Definition of Payne-Aldrich Tariff
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. It was the first change in tariff laws since the Dingley Act of 1897. President William Howard Taft called Congress into a special session in 1909 shortly after his inauguration to discuss the issue. Thus, the House of Representatives immediately passed a tariff bill sponsored by Payne, calling for reduced tariffs. However, the United States Senate speedily substituted a bill written by Aldrich, calling for fewer reductions and more increases in tariffs.
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