Economic Definition of import quota. Defined.
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Term import quota Definition: A limit on the importation of a particular good brought into one country from another country. An import quota, for example, would stipulate something like only X million pounds of swiss cheese can be imported into the United States from Switzerland each year. Such import quotas are a popular type of nontariff barrier imposed by countries throughout the world, competing with tariffs as the number one trade restriction. The general justification for import quotas is to protect domestic firms and industries from unfair competition by foreign companies. While this can be needed, import quotas are frequently used by oligopoly firms, with significant political influence to limit competition and maintain market control.