What Is a Tariff?

What Is a Tariff?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A tariff is essentially a tax that’s imposed on imported goods or services from foreign countries. Governments use tariffs to regulate trade between nations making certain imported goods more expensive for consumers. The aim behind this is typically to protect domestic industries from foreign competition. The imposition of tariffs can raise the price of imported goods, encouraging consumers to buy domestic products instead.

Related Questions

1. What is the impact of tariffs on the economy?

On one hand, tariffs can potentially aid domestic industries as they become more competitive due to the elevated price of imported goods. But, on the other hand, tariffs can result in higher costs for consumers and can lead to inefficiencies in the domestic economy if industries are protected from global competition.

2. What are different types of tariffs?

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There are primarily two types of tariffs: ad valorem tariffs charged as a fixed percentage of the value of the imported goods, and specific tariffs that are fixed fees based on the type of item, not its overall value.

3. How are tariffs applied?

Tariffs are usually applied at the border when the goods enter the country. Customs officials collect the tariff based on the type of goods and their declared value.

4. What are tariff barriers?

Tariff barriers are taxes imposed on imported goods, making them more expensive and thus less attractive to consumers. They act as barriers to trade and are usually used to protect domestic industries.

5. What is a tariff schedule?

A tariff schedule is a detailed list of goods along with the import tax rates applicable for each specific category of products.