How Trade Barriers Hurt U.S. Consumers

America's array of often contradictory trade restrictions are a major obstacle to raising its standard of living and strengthening its competitiveness, according to a study by economist James Bovard for the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. Tariffs and quotas cost each U.S. family an average of about $800 a year. Low-income households suffer more because they spend a greater share of their earnings on food and clothing, two of the most rigidly controlled imports. Despite efforts to eliminate quotas, more than 3,000 of them restrict foreign apparel and textiles, adding $40 billion to U.S. clothing prices.



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