Voluntary Export Restraint (VER)

An agreement between policymakers and producers in two nations to restrict the exports of a good from one nation to the other.

The most notable example of VERs was during the 1980s. When the automobile industry in the U.S. was threatened by the popularity of cheaper more fuel efficient Japanese cars, the U.S. pressured Japan to impose a VER on its exports into the U.S. limiting the Japanese to exporting 1.68 million cars to the U.S. annually. Subsequently, the VER gave the U.S. auto industry some protection against a flood of foreign competition.