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A tax on imports, exports, or consumption goods.
A tax that a country imposes on its imports and, occasionally, exports. A duty exists to make an import more expensive and to thereby encourage people to buy goods produced in their own country. Proponents of their use argue that duties discourage outsourcing of jobs to other countries and make the country more self-sufficient, but most economists agree that they are economically inefficient and some contend that they may ultimately harm the people they are intended to help. A duty is also called a tariff. See also: WTO, International trade, Globalization.