What is a tariff?
Tariffs are border taxes charged on foreign imports. When a government or economic bloc (such as the EU) imposes a tariff on a particular product, importers pay the levy as a percentage of the total value of the product to the customs agency of that country, at the point of entry. They are imposed to increase the price of foreign goods to make domestic produce cheaper in comparison, with the aim of protecting local firms from global competition. According to tariff supporters, this can help to save jobs that might otherwise go overseas.
Economists usually agree higher tariffs are counterproductive. While they can protect jobs in certain industries, they also tend to raise the price of goods for consumers and stifle innovation.