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In economics, protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations. Protectionist policies protect the producers, businesses and workers of the import-competing sector in a country from foreign competitors. According to proponents, these policies can counteract unfair trade practices, to allow fair competition between imports and goods and services produced domestically. Protectionists may favor the policy in order to decrease the trade deficit, maintain employment in certain sectors, or favor the growth of certain industries. In recent years, protectionism has become closely aligned with the anti-globalization movement.

In economics, protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states (countries) through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations. Protectionist policies protect the producers, businesses and workers of the import-competing sector in a country from foreign competitors. According to proponents, these policies can counteract unfair trade practices, to allow fair competition between imports and goods and services produced domestically. Protectionists may favor the policy in order to decrease the trade deficit, maintain employment in certain sectors, or favor the growth of certain industries. In recent years, protectionism has become closely aligned with the anti-globalization movement.

The doctrine of protectionism contrasts with the doctrine of free trade, where governments reduce as much as possible the barriers to trade. There is a broad consensus among economists that the impact of protectionism on economic growth (and on economic welfare in general) is largely negative, although the impact on specific industries and groups of people may be positive.