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Central actions and policies designed to protect domestic businesses against competition from foreign businesses, or businesses external to a trading bloc.

Protectionism can be achieved by imposing tariffs or quotas on imported goods, or granting subsidies or tax advantages to domestic businesses.

The consequence of domestic protectionism, and tit-for-tat retaliatory measures by foreign countries, is to restrict international trade.

Escalated protectionism and retaliation is considered to be a 'trade war'.

See also