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A proposed system to lower the U.S. trade deficit. Under the system, exporters would be issued import certificates allowing them to import up to the total value they export. Exporters may then sell these certificates to importers, who need them to conduct their business. The concept would maximize the value of imports, allowing it to be no greater than the value of exports. While this is not technically a tariff, it has much the same effect. Import certificates were proposed by Warren Buffett in 2003.