Tariff payments hit record high in October, pro-trade group says

The amount of import taxes paid by businesses in October was the highest in U.S. history, hitting $6.2 billion, according to a new report from a pro-trade group.
 
“Americans are paying these taxes and they’re paying more than ever before. These tariffs are not making our country wealthier, they are doing the exact opposite," said former Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyMarch tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says Bottom Line On The Money: US adds 155k jobs in November | Unemployment holds at 3.7 percent | Wage growth strengthening | Trump signs stopgap spending bill delaying shutdown MORE (R-La.), who's now spokesman for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign.
 
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The campaign is a project of Americans for Free Trade, a group comprised of 150 trade associations opposed to tariffs and President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE's trade policies.
 
The amount paid in tariffs was more than double the tariff expenditures in October 2017, the group said.
 
It also said retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports were taking a bite out of U.S. competitiveness. Among goods subject to tariffs, the group said, imports dropped 0.6 percent in October, indicating they were not having a major effect on foreign exporters. Exports subject to retaliatory tariffs, however, fell 37 percent.
 
Trump agreed last weekend to put the trade war with China on hold for 90 days while the two countries negotiate a deal. Stock markets reacted well to the news, but then plummeted after Trump threatened new trade barriers, calling himself a "Tariff Man" on Twitter.
 
Trump has also said he would withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement as he tries to persuade Congress to adopt an updated version of the deal, which he dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.