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Source: Tariffs Hurt the Heartland news release

Washington, D.C. - As trade negotiations with China are set to resume this week, new data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign supported by more than 150 business and agricultural trade associations, shows American consumers and businesses are paying billions of dollars a month in additional taxes because of the ongoing trade war. Since the trade war began in February 2018 through August 2019, Americans have paid an additional $34 billion. That's more than the total annual GDP of almost half the countries in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In the month of August alone, Americans paid $6.5 billion in tariffs, a 48 percent increase from the same month last year. This significant increase in tariffs paid by Americans is primarily driven by tariffs implemented by the Trump administration, which account for $3.4 billion in August. Tariffs implemented by President Trump totaled $1.17 billion in August 2018, meaning there has been an almost 300 percent increase in one year. This data doesn't include the tariffs on $112 billion worth of mainly consumer goods that went into effect on September 1.

"Business leaders and economists across the country agree the trade war is seriously damaging our economy, killing American jobs and making goods more expensive for American families and small businesses," Americans for Free Trade spokesman Jonathan Gold said.

"After $34 billion in additional taxes on American consumers, businesses and farmers, we are no closer to a deal with China than we were before the trade war started. As negotiations with China restart this week, it's imperative the President and his team find a way to end these harmful tariffs and avoid further escalation," said Gold.

The data released today also shows the devastating impact of retaliatory tariffs on America exports. Chinese tariffs on American exports topped $1 billion in August alone, the highest month in the trade war thus far. These tariffs have focused heavily on American farm exports. The August data shows that exports to China are down nearly 30 percent from pre-trade war levels.

"This data shows why farmer frustration is growing and patience with the trade war has worn thin," said Brian Kuehl, Co-Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade. "The nearly 30 percent drop in overall exports to China is a reflection that soybeans, dairy, wheat and other commodity exports have plummeted. Meanwhile, farmers in South America, Russia, Canada and elsewhere are picking off the markets we've let slip away. We can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot. The Administration needs to fulfill its promise to farmers and make a deal to end the trade war."

Today's data follows a steady stream of bad economic news as a result of the trade war. 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. In September, manufacturing activity contracted for the second month in a row, falling to its lowest level in a decade. Meanwhile, there are signs consumers are more cautious about spending.

The Tariff Tracker: The data released today is part of a monthly Tariff Tracker that Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has launched in conjunction with The Trade Partnership, which compiles monthly data released by the U.S. government. The monthly import data is calculated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The monthly export data is compiled using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As part of the Tariff Tracker project, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is also releasing data on how individual states have been impacted by increased import tariffs and declining exports.

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