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Trade War Has Cost American Additional $38 Billion
USAgNet - 11/07/2019

As negotiations between the United States and China continue on the phase one trade deal, new data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland shows American consumers and businesses have paid an additional $38 billion since the trade war began in February 2018 through September 2019.

This is the first time data has been released that shows the impact of the tariffs on $112 billion worth of mainly consumer-facing goods that went into effect on September 1, 2019. On these tariffs, Americans paid an additional $905 million in the first 30 days of these tariffs being implemented.

In the month of September alone, Americans paid a total of $7.1 billion in tariffs, more than any other amount in U.S. history - a 59 percent increase from the same month last year and an increase of $600 million over last month.

This significant increase in tariffs paid by Americans is primarily driven by tariffs implemented by the Trump administration, which account for $4.1 billion of the total in September. Tariffs implemented by President Trump totaled $1.4 billion in September 2018, meaning tariffs have nearly tripled what they were at the same time last year.

"This data offers concrete proof that tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and consumers - not by China," stated Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold. "This is why removing tariffs must be a part of the phase one deal. Unfortunately, while the trade negotiations are an encouraging sign, reports indicate the phase one deal being discussed does not address these tariffs that are already in place that have cost Americans $38 billion. Until all tariffs are removed, they will continue to do significant damage to American consumers, businesses and farmers."

The data released today also shows the devastating impact of retaliatory tariffs on American exports as well. Chinese tariffs on American exports totaled $10.6 billion since the start of the trade war and topped $1 billion in September alone. These tariffs have focused heavily on American farm exports. The September data shows that exports to China that are subject to retaliatory tariffs are down nearly 30 percent from pre-trade war levels.

"This data shows the depth of the hole the trade war has created and why it's going to be tough to dig out," said Brian Kuehl, Co-Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade. "While it's encouraging that Phase One talks are progressing, two years of economic pain won't be undone by one-time ag purchases or partial deals. The true test of any deal to end the trade war will be whether the tariffs are fully rolled back. American farmers are the 'show me' type and they are still waiting to see a deal that actually ends the economic pain they are feeling."

Today's data follows a steady stream of bad economic news as a result of the trade war. Manufacturing contracted for a third month in a row in October, with ISM Chairman Timothy Fiore saying, "Global trade remains the most significant cross-industry issue." Business investment in the third quarter dropped due to trade tensions. JP Morgan projects tariffs will cost American households up to $1,000 per year, while Moody's Analytics estimates the trade war has reduced U.S. employment by 300,000.

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