Trade Study Shows Tariffs Cost Americans Billions

Data pix.

With tariffs on most of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs placed on American goods, billions more are paid for trade.

New data from a coalition of trade groups called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows Americans have paid nearly $22 billion in additional tariffs since the trade war with China began.

The data is broken down by individual tariff action and shows American businesses and consumers have paid $15 billion because of the tariffs on China. The data runs through April 2019.

A spokesperson of Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says tariffs are erasing the benefits of tax reform raising costs for businesses and families.

The data shows exports have generally decreased by 2.5% percent from April 2018.

Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne is also looking into the costs on tariffs. She sits on the House Financial and Agricultural committees and has sent two letters to the Treasury Department to provide Congress with research on the consumer cost of tariffs.

She first wrote a letter after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified before Congress, where he said he does not agree consumers will pay more because of Chinese tariffs. The Trump Administration claims China will pay the price for tariffs.

In Axne's letter she says, “American consumers and families deserve to review the full scope of data and information that has led you to the conclusion – which leading economists, major importers and retailers unequivocally disagree with – that consumers will not pay a price for these tariffs.”

The Trump Administration also plans to expand tariffs on China. Hearings are underway on the president's pledge to impose tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is holding the hearings this week as part of that process.

Many companies and trade groups giving testimony are opposed to the increased tariffs, including the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. It says China does have restrictive economic and trade policies but there are better solutions to advancing free and fair trade with China.

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