Import Tariff or Border Tax: What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter? [January 30, 2017]   [open pdf - 100KB]

"On January 26, 2017, the Trump Administration floated the idea of imposing a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Initial news reports evinced some confusion as to whether an import tariff or a border tax was being considered; indeed, various reports used the terms interchangeably. An import tariff, which imposes duties on specific imported goods, is distinct from a border tax. This Sidebar post briefly describes the difference between these two types of measures and whether the President may unilaterally impose them without congressional approval. It does not address the policy implications of either measure (e.g., the economic effects that might result from the imposition of either measure or the consequences for foreign relations, including compliance with international agreements or the rules of the World Trade Organization)."

Report Number:CRS Legal Sidebar, January 30, 2017
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:application/pdf
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