Quota has two different meanings depending on the context.In business, quota usually refers to the sales target for a salesperson or a sales team. Typically, the quota is a monthly or quarterly goal, along with an annual sales quota. At the end of a sales period, it’s common for companies to give better deals to customers in order for salespeople to hit their quotas. In international trade, quota means quantity restrictions on the amount of goods that can be imported into, or exported out of, a country over a certain time period. Countries use quotas to protect domestic-based businesses. Trade quotas on foreign goods both reduce the supply of foreign products and drive up their price, protecting domestic companies from lower-priced competition. A quota is different than a tariff. Tariffs are a tax on the value of imported goods. Quotas limit the amount of goods coming into or going out of a country. Still, both are protective measure used by a country. The use of trade quotas is often referred to as protectionism. Quotas can be counterproductive and end up harming a country’s economy more than they help. This is because other countries often impose their own quotas in retaliation. Critics of quotas argue that they may create short-term gains, but at the cost of more substantial long-term gains. These critics advocate a system of free trade where all businesses are allowed to freely compete internationally.