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ENTRY BARRIER: An institutional, government, technological, or economic restriction on the entry of firms into a market or industry. The four primary barriers to entry are: resource ownership, patents and copyrights, government restrictions, and start-up costs. Barriers to entry are a key reason for market control and the inefficiency that this generates. In particular, monopoly, oligopoly, monopsony, and oligopsony often owe their market control to assorted barriers to entry. By way of contrast, perfect competition, monopolistic competition, and monopsonistic competition have few if any barriers to entry and thus little or no market control.

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TRADE BARRIER: A restriction, invariably by government, that prevents free trade among countries. The more popular trade restrictions are tariffs, import quotas, and assorted nontariff barriers. An occasional embargo will be even thrown into this mix. The primary use of trade barriers is to restrict imports from entering in country. By restring imports, domestic producers of the restricted goods are protected from competition and are even subsidized through higher prices. Consumers, though, get the short end of this stick with higher prices and a limited choice of goods. In that producers tend to have more political clout than consumers, it's pretty obvious why trade barriers are a "natural" state of affairs.

     See also | foreign trade | free trade | tariff | import | quota | embargo | export | competition | subsidy | GATT |


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TARIFFS

Taxes imposed by the government of one nation on imports from other nations. The primary goal of tariffs is to reduce imports and increase domestic production. As taxes, tariffs raise the demand price and lower the supply price, and thus reduce the quantity exchanged. Tariffs are one of three common foreign trade policies designed to discourage imports and/or encourage exports. The other two are import quotas and export subsidies.

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