Economics Class

Tariffs

A tariff on imports is basically a tax on goods that come into the country. In and of itself a tariff is detrimental to the economy. Tariffs subsidize some producers and tax the customer. Tariffs may also reduce exports. For example, due to the taxes on imports, the customers from country A may not buy the goods from country B thus decreasing the profits of country B. Country B therefore may not have enough money to buy the exports from country A. 

However, even though tariffs on imports may possibly reduce the country’s exports, there is a greater problem facing us. If all we care about is getting the cheapest good, no matter where it comes from, we will soon see an end to industries in our own country. In our rush to get the cheapest products we become dependent on foreign countries for our basic necessities. Our nation will no longer produce what it needs, leaving that up to other countries. In a peaceful, ideal world this would be no problem. It would not endanger any country. However, in a world filled with war and strife where countries can turn from friends to enemies it can be dangerous to be dependent on other countries for your nuts and bolts. How can you protect your nation if you have nothing to protect it with? How can you last a war with no food or basic life necessities? As an example, the British colonies were heavily dependent on England for their manufactured goods. They remained poor, unable to expand and gain wealth because they did not have the ability to produce the goods they needed. Are we willing to cripple our nation for the sake of a few dollars? Is shipping our industries overseas worth it in the long run? 

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