A tariff is a trade tax levied by governments and paid by importers on certain foreign goods coming into a country. While they provide governments with a source of tax revenue, that tends not to be their main purpose for many governments. Tariffs are applied to protect domestic producers from cheaper (or predatory) pricing by overseas producers, through higher ultimate end prices on imports, or for political ends. There is a wide range of free trade agreements and customs unions around the world that protect members from tariffs. Alternatively, members of the World Trade Organization commit to be bound by certain standards around the imposition of tariffs. The WTO’s Integrated Database is a time series of tariffs applied by members and accession countries to imports from other WTO members.

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