Trump's trade taxes add up to $7B in costs to Americans

Source: Politico | December 9, 2019 | Doug Palmer

American companies paid a record $7.2 billion in import taxes in October, or more than twice the average monthly amount before President Donald Trump began imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and foreign steel and aluminum in 2018.

New figures from the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign also show that Trump’s tariffs have slapped on $42 billion in added costs since they began.

“This trade war has lasted long enough and done enough damage,” said Jonathan Gold, a spokesperson for Americans for Free Trade. “It’s time the administration finalize a deal with China to end the trade war and remove all tariffs.”

The costs of the tariffs can range from hundreds of thousand to millions of dollars for small and medium-size firms like Misco Speakers, a 70-year-old manufacturer based in St. Paul, Minn.

The company’s president, Dan Digre, said his company is seeing the costs add up with those fees, despite Trump’s frequent boast that China is bearing most of the duties.

“We’re paying the taxes, not China,” Digre said. The tariffs “don’t punish China directly. They punish us, so that we will change our suppliers. And then that’s what hurts China. But you’ve got to hurt Americans first, then you hurt the Chinese. That just seems so wrong.”

Trump has already imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods, and he is poised to set a 15 percent duty on another $160 billion this Sunday. The latest batch will primarily hit consumer products like toys and consumer electronics.

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