When a foreign company wants to export their goods to the U.S. they may encounter a tariff (e.g. steel). The tariff is imposed by the U.S. government at the port of entry and is a form of tax revenue. However, does the exporter's revenue take a hit or do they simply charge the importer more to take the cost of the tariff into account? Does it just depend on whatever agreement the exporter/importer come to?


2 Answers 2


Assuming a competitive global market,

If an importer would by steel in the global market in global prices, he will have to absorb the tax cost at importing, then roll it to its customers at home The exporter will not absorb the tax, since it can sell to other countries without it.

If the importer's country is big enough market-wise, then: some tax absorption on the exporter's side might take place since the exporter will lose large sales if no absorption is made, And the importer will not roll all the tax to its customers since competing importers, might receive the same tax-absorption sharing with exporters (theory dictates it, all are equal in a competition), In this case, a lower price from competitors will lead to a loss of market share

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ תודה שענית על השאלה שלי גיא. $\endgroup$
    – user27343
    Oct 31, 2018 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ @user27343 בשמחה $\endgroup$
    – Guy Louzon
    Oct 31, 2018 at 21:31

In most countries and from a fiscal point of view, the exporter is the one who assumes the tariff, since it is the cost imposed by the country to allow the entry of foreign goods.

However, it is possible that the exporter increases the price of his good, in order to divide the cost of the tariff between him and the importer.


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