Introductiontariff, tax on imported and, more rarely, exported goods. It is also called a customs duty. Tariffs may be distinguished from other taxes in that their predominant purpose is not financial but economic—not to increase a nation's revenue but to protect domestic industries from foreign competition. For that reason, protective tariffs, as they are often called, are opposed by advocates of free trade. See also protection.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Taxation