Trump tariff cost consumers $815,000 per new job

Trump tariff cost consumers $815,000 per new job
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE's tariff on imported washing machines helped create 1,800 jobs but cost American consumers $815,000 for each one of the those jobs, according to a University of Chicago and Federal Reserve study.

The study, by the Fed's Aaron Flaaen and the University of Chicago's Ali Horta├žsu and Felix Tintelnot, found that the 2018 tariffs increased the costs of washing machines by nearly 12 percent.

"Absent additional factors, the reports of increases in domestic employment attributed to this policy of roughly 1,800 workers would result in an average annual cost to consumers of over 815,000 USD per job created," the report said, after netting out collected tariff revenues.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study also found that the price of dryers rose by around the same amount even though the tariffs did not apply to dryers because most people buy washers and dryers together.

"Our estimates indicate that the safeguard tariffs raised the median price of washing machines and clothes dryers by about 86 USD and 92 USD per unit, respectively," they wrote.

That adds up to $1.5 billion a year in total costs to consumers.

Of all that extra cost, however, the tariffs resulted in a relatively small amounts of revenue for the government, just $82 million a year.

The rest benefited the U.S. companies selling washers and dryers at higher prices.

The washing machine tariffs were among the earliest and most modest tariffs Trump imposed in his aggressive trade policies. Separately, he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and $250 billion of imports from China. Those tariffs resulted in retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, China and other close trade partners on U.S. exports.