Tarriffs and Trade Quotas
Tariffs and quantative restrictions (commonly known as import quotas) both serve the purpose of controlling the number of foreign products that can enter the domestic market.
In this article we look at why tariffs are often preferred to import quotas. There's a few reasons why tariffs are more desirable than quotas.
Kevin Freking's article "Tariffs: Costly Control" in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is a must read for anyone interested in international trade. Along with looking at the steel industry, it examines the softwood lumber dispute, and the catfish industry.
In my article The Softwood Lumber Dispute we saw an example of a tariff placed on a foreign good. A tariff is simply a tax or duty placed on an imported good by a domestic government.
There are a lot of government policies, like airline bailouts, that from an economic perspective don't make any sense at all. Politicians have an incentive to keep the economy strong as incumbents are reelected at a much higher rate during booms than busts. So why do so many government policies make such little economic sense?
Essay answers the following question "Why has the executive branch sometimes tended towards protectionism despite representing a national constituency?"