What is a 'Tariff War'
An economic battle between two countries in which Country A raises tax rates on Country B's exports, and Country B then raises taxes on Country A's exports in retaliation. The increased tax rate is designed to hurt the other country economically, since tariffs discourage people from buying products from outside sources by raising the total cost on those products
BREAKING DOWN 'Tariff War'
One reason why a country might incite a tariff war is because it is unhappy with one of its trading partners' political decisions. It hopes that by putting enough economic pressure on the country, it can force a change in the opposing government's behavior. This type of tariff war is also known as a "customs war".