Photo of author


The word tariff has been in use since the 1590s. We will examine the meaning of the word tariff, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A tariff is a tax on items that are coming into a country. Tariffs are categorized in schedules, and may be imposed because goods are coming from a specific country or because the items fall into a certain category of goods. Tariffs may be imposed as punishments, but are most often used to protect the production of those goods in the country that is importing the items. For instance, if a country A manufactures shoes that cost ten dollars, and country B wants to import shoes to country A that cost five dollars, the government of country A may impose a tariff of five dollars on each pair of shoes coming into the country in order to allow the domestic shoes to compete. The word tariff is derived from the Italian word tariffa which means price or assessment.


A global trade war is brewing as the U.S. and China slap tariffs on each other’s products following President Donald Trump initial salvo in March, when he placed less country-specific duties on steel and aluminum. (Newsweek Magazine)

Here’s what you need to know about tariffs, including why Trump is issuing the taxes against China and if the ongoing escalation over tariffs could lead to a trade war. (Fortune Magazine)

If the tariffs are imposed, newsprint could go up 50 percent, which would be devastating to your local newspaper and all who depend on it. (The Longview News-Journal)

Last August, North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) of Longview, Washington, petitioned the U. S. Department of Commerce to begin applying tariffs to newsprint imported from Canada, claiming the imported paper was harming the U.S. newsprint industry. (The Carlisle Sentinel)