What is an import quota?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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An import quota is one kind of a trade barrier.  Trade barriers are obstacles that are put in the way of trade by countries that believe, for one reason or another) that it is in their best interest to have less trade with foreign countries.  An import quota is a policy in which a country sets a limit (called a quota) on a certain kind (or kinds) of import.  For example, Country A might limit the number of cars that it will import from Country B.  It sets a quota for cars from Country B.  Once that quota is reached, no further cars may be imported from Country B.  By doing this, Country A hopes to help its own car industry to grow.