Study shows tariffs on China would hurt US jobs, economy


President Trump’s proposed tariffs on Chinese imports, combined with retaliation promised by Beijing, would hurt the economy and cause U.S. job losses, a new study showed on Tuesday.

Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on at least $50 billion of Chinese imports would reduce U.S. economic growth by nearly $3 billion and cause the loss of 134,000 jobs, according to a new study commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and National Retail Federation (NRF).

The report finds that four jobs would be lost for every job gained.


“As administration officials prepare to head to China for trade talks, the livelihoods of American workers hang in the balance,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

“We hope this is the start of a serious negotiation process that leads to a more open Chinese market and protects U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

The study warns that imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of imports would come at a significant cost to the U.S. economy, killing 455,000 jobs and reducing economic growth by $49 billion.

“Tariffs could wash away the benefits recent tax reform will have on the economy, bringing uncertainty to American businesses and devastation to some workers in key states, they might lose their jobs over a trade tax,” said Gary Shapiro, CEO and president of CTA.

“Rising costs on farmers, manufacturers and service providers isn’t the answer; it shows protectionism will weaken America,” he said. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and several other Trump administration officials are heading to China this week to discuss how to solve long-standing trade issues between the world’s top two economies.

“We believe it is best for the administration to seize on China’s willingness to negotiate to achieve positive outcomes for US workers, rather than via tariffs that ultimately harm us,” Shapiro said.

American farmers could pay the biggest price for the tariffs, the study shows.

The net income of farmers would decline 6.7 percent and 67,000 agriculture jobs would be lost if the tariffs are imposed. 

Farmer income would drop by 15 percent and jobs in the sector would decline by 181,000 if the tariffs rise to $100 billion in products, according to the study.

If the tariffs go into effect, the 10 states that would be hit the hardest with job losses are California, Texas, Florida, Washington, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio.

Another recent NRF and CTA study found that a television made in China that costs American consumers $250 today would cost $308 after the tariffs are applied, an increase of 23 percent.

Tags Donald Trump International trade Protectionism Robert Lighthizer Steven Mnuchin Tariff Trade policy Trump tariffs

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