What is a ‘Tariff’
A tax imposed on imported goods and services. Tariffs are used to restrict trade, as they increase the price of imported goods and services, making them more expensive to consumers. A specific tariff is levied as a fixed fee based on the type of item (e.g., $1,000 on any car). An ad-valorem tariff is levied based on the item’s value (e.g., 10% of the car’s value). Tariffs provide additional revenue for governments and domestic producers at the expense of consumers and foreign producers. They are one of several tools available to shape trade policy.
Governments may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic industries from foreign competition, since consumers will generally purchase foreign-produced goods when they are cheaper. While consumers are not legally prohibited from purchasing foreign-produced goods, tariffs make those goods more expensive, which gives consumers an incentive to buy domestically produced goods that seem competitively priced or less expensive by comparison. Tariffs can make domestic industries less efficient, since they aren’t subject to global competition. Tariffs can also lead to trade wars as exporting countries reciprocate with their own tariffs on imported goods. Groups such as the World Trade Organization exist to combat the use of egregious tariffs.
- Electricity economics: Essays and case studies – www.osti.gov [PDF]
- Efficient tariff financing of public goods – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- The public finance of a protective tariff: The case of an oil import fee – www.jstor.org [PDF]
- Financing renewable energy in Indonesia: a CGE analysis of feed-in tariff schemes – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
- Minimum feasible tariff model for BOT water supply projects in Malaysia – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
- Financing of higher education and the role and dilemmas of tariff groups – www.inderscienceonline.com [PDF]
- Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration – link.springer.com [PDF]
- Optimal pricing with a budget constraint–The case of the two-part tariff – www.jstor.org [PDF]