Sunday, December 11, 2005

tariffs and the poor

Interesting article in the Post today about how US tariffs (taxes on imports) fall much more heavily on cheaper items than on more expensive goods. In other words, tariffs are a bigger part of the final price for items that poorer consumers buy than for those products bought by more affluent consumers. One example in the article shows that drinking glasses that cost 30 cents at the border face a 28.5% tariff; ones that cost more than $5 pay 5%.

The main reason for tariffs is to protect domestic industries, but ironically many of these high-tariff items are no longer made in the US, which completely kills any reason to keep them -- but Congress hasn't gotten around to repealing them.