Institutional Barriers to Trade
Estimates of the effectiveness of trade barriers ought to be made by a study of actual administrative practice rather than by analysis of the powers granted by legislation. During the 1930s, the drive toward nationalism and self-sufficiency all over the world was accelerated by perversities in national and world markets. Even within the United States, where consitutional law prohibits the restriction of trade between the states, economic conditions of that period were such that attempts were made to introduce a variety of barriers to interstate trade. Administrative devices used to restrict trade include the imposition of fees and issuing of licenses at the discretion of government officials together with the use of health and safety regulations. Fiscal concerns may lead to increases in trade barriers. Protectionist sentiment in Congress was strong during the depression of the 1930s and although that body deferred to executive discretion on the tariff, they found other areas of trade policy where they could limit it.