NTU’s Free Trade Initiative director Bryan Riley said, “very few policy areas generate as much consensus among professional economists like free trade does. Protectionism is flat-earther economics.” NTU is holding an event to unveil the letter and submit it to the White House and Congress on Thursday, May 3 at the National Press Club. This letter to Congress and the White House comes on May 3, the anniversary of the economists’ letter in 1930 warning against the Smoot-Hawley tariffs. The Smoot-Hawley tariffs were intended to protect American jobs, but the consensus among economists is that they prolonged and worsened the Great Depression. “Tariffs are never good, and a necessary evil to be used as sparingly as possible,” said founding signatory Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office.