US President Donald Trump speaks during a trade meeting with China's Vice-Premier Liu He at the White House in April. Photo: AFP / Jim Watson

Those “beautiful” tariffs that US President Donald Trump is always going on about? It turns out that, while we wait to find out whether the self-described “tariff man” will double down on his protectionist policies, they have already cost average Americans their tax cut.

If he decides to up the ante and slap tariffs on all imports from China and Mexico, the situation could get much worse.

According to estimates from the Tax Policy Center, the Trump administration’s 2017 tax break gave middle-income households about $1,000 in extra yearly cash ($930 to be exact). The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, meanwhile, found that tariffs that are currently in effect due to Trump’s trade policies cost those same households around $830.

If Trump keeps up his aggressive use of tariffs, that leftover $100 could evaporate soon.

A study published last year by free trade advocacy group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland found that the 25% tariffs Trump has threatened to put on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods could cost a family of four more than $2,000 per year.

And that’s not even taking into account the US president’s newest threat to slap tariffs on all goods from Mexico.

Nonetheless, the president has insisted with his trade-mark Twitter capitalization that “TRADE WARS ARE EASY” and that they will “MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN.”

In the process, he will be making average families decidedly less rich. Thousands of dollars less rich, to be precise.

You can now add to that the knock-on effects of his unpredictable trade policy, which has weighed on business investment and is now showing itself in weak job numbers.

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