In economics, an import is any good (e.g. a commodity) or service brought into one country from another country in a legitimate fashion, typically for use in trade. It is a good that is brought in from another country for sale. Import goods or services are provided to domestic consumers by foreign producers. An import in the receiving country is an export to the sending country.

Imports, along with exports, form the basis of international trade. Import of goods normally requires involvement of the Customs authorities in both the country of import and the country of export and are often subject to import quotas, tariffs and trade agreements. when the "imports" are the set of goods and services imported, "Imports" also means the economic value of all goods and services that are imported. The macroeconomic variable I usually stands for the value of these imports over a given period of time, usually one year.

Balance of trade
A country has demand for an import when domestic quantity demanded exceeds domestic quantity supplied, or when the price of the good (or service) on the world market is less than the price on the domestic market.
The balance of trade, usually denoted NX, is the difference between the value of the goods (and services) a country exports and the value of the goods the country imports.

NX = X - I, or equivalently I = X - NX
A trade deficit occurs when imports are large relative to exports. Imports are impacted principally by a country's income and its productive resources. For example, the US imports oil from Canada even though the US has oil and Canada uses oil. But consumers in the US are willing to pay more for the marginal barrel of oil than Canadian consumers are, because there is more oil demanded in the US than there is oil produced.

In macroeconomic theory, the value of imports I can be modeled as a function of the domestic absorption A and the real exchange rate σ. These are the two largest factors of imports and they both affect imports positively.
I = I(A,σ)

There are two basic types of imports: 1. Industrial and consumer goods, 2. Intermediate goods and services.Companies import goods and services to supply to the domestic market at a cheaper price and better quality than competing goods manufactured in the domestic market. Companies import products that are not available in the local market.There are three broad types of importers: 1. Looking for any product around the world to import and sell. 2. Looking for foreign sourcing to get their products at the cheapest price. 3. Using foreign sourcing as part of their global supply chain.
Source: Wikipedia


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