Import Quota

A policy that restricts the quantity of imports.

Nearly every country restricts the imports of foreign goods. For example, in 1996 Vietnam restricted the amount of cement, fertilizer, and fuel as well as the number of automobiles and motorcycles it would import. The import quotas of foreign countries can adversely affect U.S. industries that try to sell their goods abroad. The U.S. economy has suffered because of foreign import quotas on canned fruit, cigarettes, leather, insurance, and computers. In a market that has become overcrowded with U.S. entertainment, some European countries have chosen to enforce import quotas on U.S.-made films and television in an effort to encourage Europe's own industries to become more competitive.