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CEI Warns Newly Announced Tariffs on Chinese Goods Will Harm Consumers, Workers

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The Trump Administration announced new proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods yesterday, escalating a trade conflict with China.

CEI Fellow Ryan Young said:

“President Trump is enacting more ineffective tariffs against Chinese goods and, raising costs for both American consumers and workers. If the Trump Administration continues on its current path, and other countries like China respond in kind, the damage could easily exceed any economic benefits from tax reform.

“The previous round of tariffs on Chinese goods avoided consumer products, in an attempt to at least pretend to minimize consumer costs. The new proposed round of tariffs, this time a 10 percent levy on $200 billion of goods, does away with that pretense, affecting consumer goods such as handbags, soap, luggage, and more.

“These tariffs will cause consumers to see higher prices, and over time we will see less competition and slower innovation as long as they are in place. While trade’s long term employment effects are negligible, in the short run hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk, and it will take time for displaced workers to find other employment. President Trump has yet to give a compelling answer for why these families should face hardships paying for rent, food and other necessities--and at increased prices, thanks to the new tariffs.

“Voluntarily raising consumer prices, reducing consumer choice, harming American businesses, and forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans to find new work is a curious strategy, cancelling out important regulatory reforms enacted last year. Unfortunately, time it will take Congress to undo or minimize the damage from the president's rogue tariffs will reduce its ability to enact needed reforms elsewhere, such as deregulation, finance, and health care. The administration has given itself until August 30 to reconsider its position; it should

Read Ryan Young’s statement on the previous round of tariffs against Chinese goods here.

Related analysis: Will Trump’s Tariffs Kill Free Markets?