The import fees "represented a compromise between the advocates of a high protective tariff and those who favored a tariff for revenue only [to maintain the central government]." Charges up to fifty percent were imposed on selected manufactured and agricultural goods, including "steel, ships, cordage, tobacco, salt, indigo [and] cloth." On the majority of items subject to duty, a five percent fee was levied, ad valorem He acknowledged the South, the main wealth-producing part of the nation, would inevitably "shoulder a disproportionate share of the financial burden involved in the transforming the United States into a commercial, manufacturing, and maritime power." In its final form, the tariff erected "an American navigation system," superseding the individual state sanctioned fees designed to protect domestic shipping during the Articles of Confederation period from 1781 to 1789.The act established tonnage rates favorable to American carriers by charging them lower cargo fees than those imposed on foreign boats importing similar goods.
A reorganization was essential and the immediate economic results were salutary.
In the months leading up to the passage of the Tariff Act, Congress received several petitions from different cities representing manufacturing groups asking for relief from the flood of European imported goods.
The United States Congress answered the petitions of these groups for urgent attention, by making the Tariff of 1789 the first major bill to be considered in its first session and passed.
and shift the carrying trade to French and American vessels.
The Tariff Bill was passed in the House by a vote of 31-19 on July 1, 1789; the resultant enrolled Bill was signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on July 2, 1789; and President Washington signed the Act in law on July 4, 1789.