Donald Trump is patting himself on the back because of the wealth he thinks his tariffs on China are bringing the U.S. Beginning on Monday, September 24, the Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of consumer products from China. Unlike the previous Trump tariffs on aluminum and steel, Trump’s latest round of tariffs will directly impact everyday products that Americans buy, such as furniture, lamps, and car parts.
Trump stated earlier this week at the White House that “China is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs.” He went on to say that the Treasury Department was collecting “tremendous amounts of money, which is great for our country.”
In reality, write David J. Lynch and Damian Paletta of The Washington Post, “Tariffs are taxes that are paid by Americans who import goods from abroad. Through the end of August, the administration had collected nearly $22 billion in revenue because of its new tariffs, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.”
American importers will begin paying an extra 10 percent tariff for items that are impacted. By the end of 2018, that tariff will increase to 25 percent.
Even if Trump’s tariffs are not exactly bringing in huge piles of wealth to the U.S., at least Americans will hardly notice any price increases in consumer goods, or so says one mega-wealthy Trump official. Wilbur Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary, says that Americans won’t feel the price increases because they’ll be spread across so many products. Or at least the increases will be miniscule (Miniscule probably means something slightly different to Ross, who, in 2016, according to ThinkProgress, was worth $2.9 billion).
Even if Americans do end up suffering a little from price increases, though, what’s a little pain, in the grand scheme? Donald Trump thinks that Americans, in their great loyalty to Trump, are so eager to place sanctions on China that they’ll be happy to endure a little hardship by paying more for things.
On September 18, Trump tweeted, “China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me. What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that…..”
Not all right-wingers, however, support the idea that Trump’s tariffs will benefit Americans. Some project that for those who benefited from earlier tax cuts, the tariffs will cancel out those gains. In addition, current American wages are not keeping up with the rate of inflation. With additional costs resulting from Trump’s tariffs, Americans’ buying power will decrease even more.
Wilbur Ross makes case that consumers won’t notice price increases | CNBC [2018-09-18]
Will American consumers pay the price for Trump’s tariffs? | Fox Business [2018-09-18]