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DID YOU KNOW? TARIFFS

Tariffs are customs taxes on imported goods and services. They increase the cost of the imported goods, thereby making domestic alternatives more attractive. 

Tariffs are a source of marginal revenue to the taxing country but mostly act to safeguard local industries or as leverage in trade negotiations. In recent times, however, tariffs have been increasingly used to achieve foreign policy goals. These objectives could be to foster closer political relationships or as a punitive measure.

The US constitution empowers Congress to set tariffs, which has delegated extensive tariff-setting policy to the US president. President Trump has invoked national security considerations to obtain even greater presidential tariff powers to impose his wide-ranging tariffs with little Congressional input.

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