A Closer Look at U.S. Tariffs
In addition to the fact that the imposition of any tariffs runs counter to the avowed goal of free trade, little logic or defense seems to exist for the disparities across tariffs imposed by particular countries. For example, in the United States, an 8.5 percent duty is imposed on imported women’s wool suits, but no duties are imposed on men’s suits. Furthermore, when a broader view is taken that incorporates whether U.S.-imposed tariffs hit imports from all countries fairly or evenly, it is readily evident that they do not. In 2006, both France and Cambodia paid $367 million in duties to the United States; but for its payment, France was able to import $36.8 billion in goods, whereas Cambodia paid the same duties for the importation of only $2.2 billion in goods.62
1. Who in the United States is hurt by the tariffs described above? Who in the United States is advantaged by them?
2. Why might U.S. tariffs be friendlier to French products than Cambodian goods?