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Examples of U.S. products that rely on protective tariffs to survive include paper clips, canned tuna, tobacco and sneakers.

Paper Clips

A single paper clip manufactured and sold in the United States retails for less than a penny. Most paper clips sold in the U.S. are manufactured domestically and are priced favorably, due in large part to tariffs as high as 126.94% on Chinese-manufactured paper clips.

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna manufactured and sold in the U.S. has been protected by a 35% tariff against Ecuador's cannery imports since 2002. Rising wages in the U.S. have caused canned tuna manufacturers to outsource the cleaning of their fish to countries with cheap labor, and then have domestic operations in California and Georgia package the final product. This takes advantage of a loophole where cheap labor can still be realized, and no tariff is paid due to the fact that the final product is packaged and sold domestically.

Tobacco

Tobacco is quite possibly one of the most well-known domestic products protected by tariffs. The import rate on foreign tobacco products has reached as high as 350%, stemming from high tariffs passed during the Great Depression.

Sneakers

Sneakers produced by New Balance, the last large shoemaker to have its entire production process in the U.S., is protected by a 48% tariff on foreign shoe imports. This is part of the reason why popular brands of shoes such as Nike and Adidas have higher prices. Since they create many of their final products outside the U.S., they are faced with paying the tariff that protects domestic suppliers such as New Balance, and they pass those costs through to the customer.

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