Finance

US Chamber analysis shows helping all sectors hit by tariffs would cost $39 billion

A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis found that providing similar aid to all sectors affected by President Trump’s tariffs would cost U.S. taxpayers $39 billion.

The Trump administration last week announced a $12 billion emergency aid package for the nation’s farmers who are taking a hard hit from retaliatory tariffs unloaded by China, Mexico, Canada and other trading partners because of the president’s imposition of tariffs.

{mosads}The Chamber’s analysis shows that on top of the $12 billion that could be doled out to farmers as early as this fall, another $27.2 billion would be needed to help other sectors such as fishermen, cotton and fabric manufacturers and makers of steel and aluminum. 

After Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the agriculture aid last week, the Chamber decided to determine how much it would cost to provide a similar level of aid to each industry affected by the budding trade war.

“While America’s agricultural industry has been hit extremely hard by escalating tariffs, it’s not alone,” said Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer.

“The administration’s focus should be expanding free trade and removing these harmful tariffs, not allocating taxpayer’s money to only marginally ease the suffering for some of the industries feeling the pain of the trade war,” Bradley said. 

Bradley said “offering a bailout to any single industry is a slippery — and costly — slope.”

Farm groups have said they want more open foreign markets to sell their products, not aid to bolster their businesses while the tariffs remain in place.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Trump administration wasn’t planning to offer aid to any other sectors of the economy.

In an exchange with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) Lighthizer said “it is the view of the administration that agriculture has been particularly targeted by retaliation as a result of the kinds of actions we’re doing to try to level the playing field.”

“So you’re not contemplating that kind of assistance for other small businesses that are being hurt by this trade war?” Shaheen asked.

“Not at this time, no,” Lighthizer responded. 

Tags Chamber of Commerce China–United States trade war Donald Trump Jeanne Shaheen Robert Lighthizer Sonny Perdue Tariff
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