20+ Difference between Tariff and Quota

Tariffs and quotas are employed for the same purpose, which is to safeguard domestic industry by artificially increasing prices in the local market.

However, there are significant variations in the methods used and the results achieved. The amount of an item that may be imported from another nation is limited by quotas in place.

The value of a quota, often termed “quota rents,” typically goes to foreign exporters who are able to sell items subject to the quota at higher prices and get greater per unit income.

Comparison Between Tariff And Quota

MeaningTariffs are levied on imported products to discourage their mass importation and funding aid for indigenous manufacturers who may be at a disadvantage in the face of foreign competition.If tariffs on an imported product are not enough to alleviate pressure on native producers, the government of a nation may resort to quotas, often known as import quotas. The government can impose an import quota on the commodity, limiting the total amount that may enter the nation within the limited time frame.
ConsequencesIf the importer levies a t per unit tax, the price of an imported item will be Pt + t. Price increases have consequences. When tariffs raise prices, people buy less. OC customers are causing OB’s downfall. Tariffs affect consumer spending. The second effect is output or safeguarding.Tariffs are similar to quotas. Both may share an icon. Tariffs restrict supply via price, whereas quotas limit overall supply. Quotas limit imports. Local production plus imports equal the entire demand at Pt. Therefore, an EC import restriction will raise the price to Pt.
ProsTo protect domestic industries against foreign firms offering lower prices, the United States government may levy tariffs on international imports. Governments may raise revenue via tariffs. Several nations have begun imposing their own import taxes in response to tariffs. Tariff costs might be reduced if this is done.Companies in the area are protected from the disruptive effects of overseas competition thanks to the use of quotations. When other countries handle your imports the same way you treat theirs, you may be able to get revenge by restricting their exports.
ConsTariffs may drive up the price of imported goods. It’s possible to spark a full-blown trade war by slapping tariffs on another nation. A reduction in economic efficiency may be attributed to tariffs.Prices paid by consumers can go up due to restrictions placed on imports and other policies. When countries are required to adhere to quotas, trade disputes may ensue. Quotas may make an economy produce less.
Results inThis has the immediate effect of driving the production surplus to continue to increase while concurrently causing the consumer surplus to cause a further decline directly. The immediate consequence of this is that this is now taking place. This will directly lead to an increase in the overall surplus, which will continue accumulating.A decrease in the consumer surplus will likely emerge immediately as this shift’s direct and unavoidable consequence. This result is unavoidable under all circumstances.

Major Difference Between Tariff And Quota

What exactly is Tariff?

Payment made on importation of goods and services; equivalent to a tax. Imposing taxes on imported products and services raises retail prices, making them less competitive with domestic alternatives.

Because consumers would be drawn to imported products if they are cheaper, the government imposes this tax to raise revenue and shield local businesses from international competition.

It hinders countries’ abilities to engage in open commerce with one another.

Key Difference: Tariff

  • Simply put, the tariff is a tax levied on imported products. 
  • Revenue gained through tariffs contributes to a nation’s GDP growth. 
  • Tariffs reduce consumers’ excess while increasing producers’ surplus. The income of the government is the sum of all tariffs collected. 
  • Tariffs are the levies that are placed on goods entering and leaving a nation. Tariffs raise GDP by providing a revenue stream for the government. 
  • Tariffs benefit the government because of the money they come in. Tariffs are a kind of taxation that gives the country money. 
  • Both quotas and tariffs are detrimental, but tariffs affect more imports. Tariffs are levies placed on goods entering a country from outside. 
  • Income for the government comes from tariffs, which helps boost GDP. The tariff reduces the excess for consumers while increasing the surplus for producers. 
  • Taxes and fees are what bring money into the government’s coffers. Tariffs harm effective international imports.

What exactly is Quota?

Limits on the total quantity of items that may be imported or exported to or from a country during a certain time period are known as “quotas,” and the government imposes them.

It’s a tool for controlling the quantity of international commerce. The purpose of quotas is not to make the government rich but to make the country more self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on foreign imports and increasing domestic output.

Key Difference: Quota

  • The quota is the official restriction set by the government on imports of foreign-made products. Quotas hurt both productive and wasteful imports.
  • It has no influence on trade since, unlike quotas, it is based on product prices rather than quantities. Reduction in consumer surplus due to quotas. 
  • Businesses might benefit financially when quotas are in place because of the additional funds they bring in. Limits on the total amount of a product are known as quotas. 
  • Governments sometimes restrict the number of commodities that may be exported or imported, known as a quota. 
  • Tariffs have no effect on GDP since they are based on the volume of trade rather than the value of goods. As a result of quotas, dealers might benefit from financial benefits. 
  • There is a limit on the total amount of goods that may be imported due to quotas permitting more imports, which might lead to bribery and illegal activity. 
  • The quota is the limit the government sets on the number of goods made in another country that may be sold in the home market. 
  • However, quotas reduce the excess enjoyed by consumers. Yet, if quotas are implemented, dealers will gain from the amassing. 

Contrast Between Tariff And Quota


  • Tariff – The items carried into the nation from other countries are subject to the imposition of tariffs, also often referred to as taxes or levies.

    Importers are subject to tariffs, calculated as a proportion of the total value of the items brought into the nation and subsequently charged to the importers.

    The government is responsible for both the collection of these fees and the determination of their respective amounts.
  • Quota – The usage of quotas, which are predetermined amounts, is one method used to control and manage imports.

    Importers are informed by the government that they are only permitted to bring a certain quantity of a certain product into the nation when a quota has been established for a particular item. The quota serves as the basis for determining this number.


  • Tariff – If a nation levies a duty of t per unit on an imported good, the price will increase from Pt to Pt + t. There are repercussions of this price hike that follow.

    When prices are increased, as they are due to a tariff, consumers tend to make fewer purchases.

    Presently, OC consumers are responsible for the decline in OB consumers. Tariffs may have a significant impact on consumer spending. The output effect or safeguarding effect is the second effect.
  • Quota – Tariffs and quotas have a lot in common. Indeed, the same figure may be used to depict both of them. Tariffs control supply via price, whereas quotas control supply through quantity.

    Therefore, a quota is an import quantity restriction. Total supply (domestic production + im­ports) matches total demand at Pt; hence the price will increase to Pt if an import quota of EC is applied.


  • Tariff – Tariffs are a means through which domestic industry in the United States may be shielded from the competitive pressures of imported goods at lower prices.

    One way in which governments bring in money is via the use of tariffs. Countries can charge their own taxes on imported products to alleviate the consequences of tariffs placed on them by other nations. This may be done to reduce the overall cost of the tariffs.
  • Quota – Implementing quotas is a potential opportunity to shield local industries from the disruptive consequences of global competition.

    You may get your own back on nations treating your imports the same way they treat theirs by limiting the items that countries are authorized to ship abroad.


  • Tariff – Customers who buy imported items may see an increase in their total purchase cost due to tariffs put on such goods.

    A possible trade war between two nations has the potential to be sparked by one country’s decision to impose tariffs on the other one.

    When tariffs are implemented, it has a detractive effect on the economy’s overall efficiency.
  • Quota – Customers can pay more for imported items if those commodities are subject to quotas and restrictions. As a direct result of quotas, nations may resort to trade disputes.

    The amount of production that may be attained in an economy may decline due to the imposition of quotas, which is one of the unfavorable consequences that quotas can have.


  • Tariff – “Market value” is ad valorem. Tariffs rely on value. It’s a percentage, not money. Untaxed goods, regardless of price. Unit- or weight-based. Certain milk is taxed at 3.2 cents per liter.

    Many conflate ad valorem and particular tariffs. Ad valorem and particular tariffs are combined. It comprises a unit price and a portion of the commodity’s worth, says 10%.

    It mixes tariffs and quotas. Limits import taxes. Imports above 1,000 units per year may be taxed at 10%.
  • Quota – An import quota system limits how much of a certain item may enter a country over time. No discussions or agreements were reached before implementation. Set a global quota.

    Any nation may import up to a product’s worldwide quota. Together, importers and exporters determine quotas.

    It mandates a minimum share of indigenous raw materials in otherwise import-only industrial processes. It limits local production’s foreign input. Licenses control import limits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why do governments insist on imposing tariffs, which amount to a kind of taxation on their own citizens?

For governments to accomplish their goals of increasing income, safeguarding local enterprises, or gaining political power over another nation, they often put tariffs on imports and exports.

Tariffs might have unintended consequences, such as increased costs paid by customers at the point of consumption at the end of the supply chain.

Q2. What kind of implications would there be if tariffs were removed?

While imports of manufactured goods are on the rise, imports of goods falling into every other category are on the down.

Because removing tariffs on imported manufactured products would result in a drop in the price of such things, the manufacturing sector in the United States would roughly 4.5 percent increase its imports of manufactured goods if tariffs were removed.

Q3. What exactly is the point of having quotas in place?

A quota is a trade restriction imposed by the government that limits the number of commodities or the monetary value of those items that a nation is allowed to import or export within a certain period.

In international commerce, governments will often employ quotas to assist in managing the amount of trade between themselves and other nations.

Q4. What kind of results do quotas bring about?

Imported goods have less access to the market because of quotas. In most cases, this increases customers’ price in the domestic market.

This ultimately results in reduced consumer surplus and a decline in real earnings. Additionally, it can potentially lessen the number of options available to customers in a given market.

Q5. Are there any positive effects that quotas have on the economy?

Quotas will encourage the growth of local suppliers while simultaneously reducing the volume of imports.

On the other side, they will result in higher prices for consumers, a decline in economic welfare, and may result in retaliation from other countries in the form of tariffs put on our products. All of these things will hurt the economy.

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