Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices
President Trump’s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.
“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.
MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.
The Trump administration first implemented steel and aluminum tariffs in March of 2018, with the president declaring at the time that “aggressive foreign trade practices” related to the trade goods amounted to an “assault on our country” and the U.S. steel industry.
Since then, Trump has announced new rounds of tariffs on billions of Chinese goods in a retaliatory back-and-forth with the country.
U.S. and Chinese officials say they have neared a preliminary trade deal that would grant China relief from some tariffs in exchange for drastically increasing purchases of American farm exports.
The escalation of the U.S.-China trade war prompted a tumultuous market at some points throughout the year, amid fears of a possible global recession.
In September of this year, U.S. consumers and businesses paid a record $7.1 billion in tariffs.