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Tariffs imposed last year on imported washing machines have made their mark on the economy. With a new study from the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Board, the results are in.
The tariffs cost American consumers approximately $1.5 billion in higher prices.
Those costs weren’t borne by foreign governments but by American families. President Trump’s washing machine tariffs cost consumers around $100 extra per appliance. Even the price of dryers, a complementary good to washing machines, increased by a commensurate amount, even though they weren’t affected by the tariffs.
Tariffs are merely hefty sales taxes on consumers and businesses. These trade barriers spike the prices of goods and invite additional trade barriers from abroad.
Tariffs are intended to help a small subset of American businesses and workers. But they harm nearly every other American in the process. When the Trump administration levied tariffs on foreign steel, steel-producing companies benefited — but in return, American companies that rely on imported steel saw inflated production costs, slashed profits and even layoffs.
The gains enjoyed by a few politically favored companies simply do not justify the sacrifice of the livelihoods of millions of Americans. This is a practice of picking winners and losers on a national scale.
As always, there are far more losers than winners.
Tell Congress we need trade
Tariffs simply don’t work. They drastically hike the prices of the goods on our shelves, harming families and businesses that depend upon foreign products.