Free Trade

New Studies Show Trump's Tariffs Have Been Costly For U.S. Consumers and Businesses

"These U.S. tariffs have been completely passed on to U.S. firms and consumers," report economists from Princeton, Columbia, and the Federal Reserve.

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A year and a half after President Donald Trump's trade war with China began, the economic data is becoming irrefutable: American consumers and businesses have paid for the full cost of the tariffs, and then some.

In papers published this week, two groups of economists examined how the trade war has impacted the prices that Americans pay for imports from China, and how those higher import prices have affected American manufacturing exports. In both cases, it looks like Americans have come out behind: we are paying the full cost of the Chinese tariffs, and those higher costs have "significantly dampened U.S. export growth."

In the first paper, economists Mary Amiti, Stephen Redding, and David Weinstein find that, "in most sectors, these U.S. tariffs have been completely passed on to U.S. firms and consumers."

The trio of researchers—from the Federal Reserve, Princeton, and Columbia, respectively—note that this finding is somewhat surprising because tariffs typically have the consequence of forcing foreign producers to lower prices in order to stay competitive in an environment where those goods are subject to import taxes. But that hasn't happened despite the Trump administration's five waves of new tariffs on goods imported from China. The average U.S. tariff has increased from 1.6 percent to 5.4 percent since the trade war with China really got rolling in July 2018, but "the tariffs do not appear to be affecting foreign export prices," the trio of economists conclude.

That directly contradicts the message that Trump and his allies have been sending since the trade war began. Peter Navarro, Trump's top economic adviser, for example, has stubbornly maintained the fantasy that "China is bearing the entire burden of the tariffs," even when confronted with data suggesting exactly the opposite.

Amiti, Redding, and Weinstein note that the first few months of tariff data could have been misleading for a number of reasons. Existing contracts could have created "sticky" prices that did not reflect the influence of the tariffs, for example.

Now, with 18 months of trade war data available, there's little reason to believe Navarro's nonsense—with one small exception.

There is some evidence that foreign steel prices did drop as a result of Trump's tariffs—but those steel tariffs, which were imposed in March 2018, were mostly lifted midway through last year. That's good news for steel consumers in the U.S., the economists note, but it also means the steel tariffs were ineffective at driving up the cost of foreign steel in order to boost domestic steel producers.

Indeed, that seems to have been the case. After an initial surge of optimism, the American steel industry seems to have not benefited much from the Trump administration's protectionism. Major steel producers like U.S. Steel and Nucor have slowed production amid slackening demand, laid off some workers, and seen their stock prices tank during the past two years.

"By contrast, we find that for consumer and non-steel inputs," the economists report, "complete tariff passthrough was immediate and then rose above 100 percent."

In the second study, economists Kyle Handley, Fariha Kamal, and Ryan Monarch found that one-fourth of U.S. exporters—companies that accounted for more than 80 percent of U.S. exports, by value—imported products subject to tariffs during 2019. On average, the higher costs created by those tariffs equaled $900 per worker.

To understand how this works, think about a manufacturing company in the United States that imports parts from China—like AudioControl, a Seattle-based manufacturer of speakers and headphones—before doing final assembly in the United States. The trade war has hit those businesses in two ways. Tariffs on Chinese-made parts have increased the prices that businesses like AudioControl pay to purchase necessary components. Those higher costs are built into the final product, putting those American firms at a disadvantage when they sell goods overseas.

Firms have a few choices when facing those higher import costs. Some might choose to absorb them, while others might try to find alternative sources for industrial inputs. Others might simply exit the export market entirely if they can no longer compete.

That's one reason why governments have typically tried to avoid imposing tariffs on intermediate goods that are used as inputs in the production of other goods, the three economists note. But the heaviest tariffs imposed by the U.S. against Chinese imports have fallen on exactly that sector of the economy, in part because the Trump administration has tried to avoid having tariffs hit consumer goods.

"In practice, trade policy designed to avoid tariffs on consumer goods may disproportionately impact imported inputs, spilling over to affect exports of other products to third countries," write Handley, Kamal, and Monarch, who work at the University of Michigan, the Census Bureau, and the Federal Reserve, respectively.

When it comes to the trade war, then, it seems like there aren't really winners and losers—just losers and bigger losers.

NEXT: Donald J. Trump: The Fickle Warrior Against Endless War

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  1. The economy will crash literally any day now.

    1. Look at that- a Trump nut hugger willing to defend it all no matter what. What a surprise

      1. Defend a booming economy?

        Yeah what a fucking scoundrel…

          1. Aahahahahalolwut?

            Oh wait you’re the idiot censor who thinks the guy Trump vaporized wasn’t a soldier haahahahaj

          2. I agree – the economy is not booming. There are certainly some bright spots in the economy, but there’s plenty of muddle through stuff that cannot be considered “booming”. Certain indicators are flat or in contraction. Carload rail traffic is one example. Light vehicle sales were down in 2019 from 2018. The purchasing manager’s index (PMI) is in contraction. Total construction spending is flat at best – and when adjusted for inflation, it’s not great. The Dallas Fed Manufacturing shows contraction – and it way down from its peak in 2018. I don’t think recession is imminent, but I don’t see a lot of heat in the economy. I predict more muddle through for a year or two. The stock market will likely be more volatile in 2020 compared to 2019.

  2. MARKETS IMPLODING!

    USA gaining vast wealth since 2017 is just an illusion.
    /Boehm

    1. Lololo

    2. And another trump nut hugger!

      1. Running out of steam are ya little guy?

    3. Trump supporters: “Stocks are up, so who cares about the largest deficits in US history, artificially low interest rates, and larger bailouts than the auto bailouts I literally cried about? I’m retarded, so I can only focus on one metric at a time.”

      1. Hey, remember when you were “some jerk” in the other thread earlier today?

        Lolol widdle baby gonna cwy? You gonna cwy widdle baby?

      2. Also, the deficit was higher under Obama. By about 30%

        Us defecit (in billions)

        2009 $1413

        2010 $1294

        2011 $1300

        2020 $1101

        Everyone is laughing at how stupid you are.

        https://www.thebalance.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306

        1. What happened to 2012 – 2016?

          2012 $1,087
          2013 $679
          2014 $485
          2015 $438
          2016 $585

          Oh wait, now I see why you left out that data. It would suck if this missing data totally disproved your point, right?

          1. DOL said

            “the largest deficits in US history

            IN US HISTORY.

            Not a strong reader are you?

            1. (he’s going to look at this and realize his reflexive defense of Obama made him look retarded. The real question is whether he’ll slink away, or sack up)

              1. I didn’t defend Obama.

                1. Sure.

                  1. I appreciate the correction.

                    1. This explains your lady issues.

                2. Literally exactly what you did.

            2. Ah, yeah, that’s fair.

              Not a strong reader are you?

              Haha, yeah I guess I’m not this morning. That’s on me. Carry on.

              1. “this morning”

                Lol

          2. 12-14 which had the GOP house, paying for aca with reduced payouts in a budget gimmick, etc?

            Even the 2014 cbo projection assumed trillion dollar deficits due to aca and other entitlements.

            1. Trillion dollar deficits in 2020

              1. Deficits relative to a larger economy might not be as worrisome. Don’t forget, a balance sheet has two sides.

            2. Well, the GOP had control over everything in 2017 – 2018, but that didn’t translate into lower deficits. Based on what you’re saying, it sounds like if we want the deficit to go down, we ought to have a Democrat as president and hand the house to the GOP.

              Personally, I’d rather have the GOP in charge of everything, especially if we can get them to change their platform on criminal justice issues.

              1. Hey man, I appreciate the correction.

              2. No, what I’m saying is the deficit growth is k own and expected until we get rid of entitlements and baseline budgeting. The current deficit was entirely predicted solely on those 2 factors. Problem is the GOP has for some reason bought into the necessity of baseline budgeting and promote it while being feckless on entitlements. So it was business as usual. The deficits only reduced forma few years due to a budget gimmick in aca which had a longer period of taxation to cover it’s long term spending, that period is over.

                1. Ah, yeah okay, I see what you’re saying. The GOP has become totally useless when it comes to entitlement spending. Honestly, I don’t even mind social programs, its just the scale that I have an issue with and the idea that any of this can be done at the federal level. Entitlements should be entirely state run if they exist at all.

                  1. I think all social programs should be state vested only and none of then contractual. Our tax and spend system is completely upside down with the biggest expenditures on welfare at the entity farthest removed.

                    1. One move that might be politically feasible is to shift non-discretionary spending back into discretionary spending, so giant chunks can be cut off every year during budget negotiations.

          3. Republicans controlled congress and forced a sequester?

      3. The deficit isnt caused by the tariffs you fucking moron.

        1. No. It’s caused by the tax breaks. With a “booming” economy the deficit should shrink.

          1. The tax breaks that led to increased revenue? Derp

    4. Markets exploding
      and Generals imploding,
      These are not some of Boehm’s favorite things.

  3. “New Studies Show Trump’s Tariffs Have Been Costly For U.S. Consumers and Businesses”

    Please tell me these studies weren’t paid for with taxpayer money!

    I didn’t read the article, but that’s what it’s about, right? Boehm is upset that taxpayer money is being squandered on studies that prove that water is wet, and he’s writing this article in protest.

    Amirite?

    1. You.are.right. 🙂

  4. Heres the thing about economics… you can have a study disprove or prove anything based on the models used and the assumptions made. Honest economists will look at studies from both sides. Boehm is not an honest economist.

    1. “Those higher costs are built into the final product, putting those American firms at a disadvantage when they sell goods overseas.”

      Which is somehow not seen in any inflationary data. Somehow we have higher costs but no signal…

      1. Shorter Jesse: “I don’t understand science or math so I’ll pretend several PhD’s from the leading universities in the world know less than me, a Trump voter. All hail King Trump!”

        1. Bro, you can’t even read a fucking chart lolololol

        2. “I’ll pretend several PhD’s from the leading universities in the world”

          Ahahahahahahah AND YOU’RE A CREDENTIAL WHORE AHAHAHAHAHHA

          YOU’RE A CREDENTIAL WHORE WHO CANT READ A CHART OMFG AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          AHAHAHAHAHAHA

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        3. Well said. I’m sick of these anti-intellectual science-deniers who disregard the analysis of experts.

          For example Paul Krugman won a Nobel Prize in economics, and he correctly predicted Drumpf’s election would cause a global recession with no end in sight.

          #KrugmanWasRight

          1. That’s not what Krugman said. In fact, here’s what he said:

            “It’s true that we’ve been adding jobs at a pretty good pace and are quite close to full employment. But we’ve been doing O.K. only thanks to extremely low interest rates. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. But what if something bad happens and the economy needs a boost? The Fed and its counterparts abroad basically have very little room for further rate cuts, and therefore very little ability to respond to adverse events.

            Now comes the mother of all adverse effects — and what it brings with it is a regime that will be ignorant of economic policy and hostile to any effort to make it work. Effective fiscal support for the Fed? Not a chance. In fact, you can bet that the Fed will lose its independence, and be bullied by cranks.”

            Where’s the lie? That’s exactly what has happened. The “if” something happens part hasn’t occurred, yet. But he never said it was a guarantee. He said “if” it occurs, we won’t be ready for it. And he’s right.

        4. It is amazing how dumb you are. Pod level dumb.

          1. Maybe I’ll be your President one day.

        5. I mean, you couldnt even point out any assertion I made that was incorrect. That is how stupid you are. You used an appeal to authority without even bothering to read the summary of their assertion which doesnt contradict my assertion at all. That is how fucking dumb you are. It is fucking hilarious.

  5. China not impacted at all! AmIright?

    1. If it were the case that these tariffs just increased costs and didn’t change consumer behavior, then two things would also be true. First, it would mean the tariffs would be a sales tax. Not that taxes are good, but we have lots of sales taxes and they are hardly the end of trade or the economy as is being claimed for the dreaded tariffs. Second, it means that the increase in price is small enough that it isn’t changing people’s behavior much or at all. If it was, then all of the cost couldn’t just be passed on. The only reason the cost could be passed on to firms and consumers is if the increase in price is too small to change the demand.

      So what are we left with? Even if this is true, it means the tariffs are so insignificant they haven’t changed consumer behavior and have just served the function of raising revenue. I don’t think that proves quite what reason thinks it does.

      Also, Sudderman writes a “tax cuts are irresponsible and just add to the debt” article about three times a year. So, I guess Suderman supports this tax, right?

      1. So what are we left with? Even if this is true, it means the tariffs are so insignificant they haven’t changed consumer behavior and have just served the function of raising revenue. I don’t think that proves quite what reason thinks it does.

        Nicely said. The tariffs have not appreciably affected consumer behavior. The tariffs have not appreciably affected market behavior. The tariffs HAVE affected country to country behavior: We now have several trade agreements pending ratification in the Senate.

      2. No, no. We’re back to hating taxes and ignoring the deficit because it meets our social goals. Nothing like being a socially liberal, fiscally convenient libertarian.

    2. Sure….”The Fed said imports of Chinese products affected by U.S. tariffs have fallen by an annualized $75 billion. That’s a huge chunk of business that’s gone to Europe, Japan and other Asian countries.”

  6. “New Studies Show Roads Have Been Costly For U.S. Consumers and Businesses”

    Like roads, the tariffs are an ‘investment’ that will help change China’s IP stealing behavior, greatly benefiting all in the long run.

  7. There’s no doubt that Trump’s tariffs will harm the American consumer in the short run.

    But what is the long run goal and is it likely to be successful?

    1. As an American consumer I am harmed far more from government taxation, regulation, and mandated employee costs than tariffs.

  8. Drumpf’s tariffs have also proved disastrous in a way that’s especially upsetting for us Koch / Reason libertarians — they have caused our benefactor Charles Koch’s net worth to stagnate in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range.

    Unacceptable!

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

    1. There is of course studies that the tarrifs are having the desired outcome, but Eric doesn’t have time for a balanced perspective. STFU

  9. Reason hates Trump! They never have anything but criticism of him and they never had anything but praise for Obama! They’re not true Libertarians! They all voted for Hillary! Reason sucks! Aaaauuugghhh!

    1. The only untrue statement you made was the praise for obama part. Reason has even given up applauding Trumps court picks. They have completely ignored his deregulatory effort instead solely focusing on trade tariffs, had minimal support of the prison reforms with half being critical of him, and have largely held him to higher standards than they ever did prior presidents. They also have the last few months put in purely snarky idiocy into articles such as the roundup where they never did prior.

      But for some reason you’ve decided to put a stand and join them the last month or so.

      Being in the D.C. and NY media corridors is understandable for Reasons writers. They have cocktail parties to go to. But dont think you have that excuse.

      1. The deregulatory effort hasn’t been in the news, and they did give credit when credit was due.

        It’s a libertarian magazine. They’re not going to praise things that aren’t libertarian. You know, things like trade wars, immigration restrictions, and things like that.

        1. “It’s a libertarian magazine”

          False.
          But if it’s open borders and crony trade deals, you’ll call it libertarian and get super butthurt when anybody points out their progressive water carrying

          1. The only ones here who are butthurt are the Trumpistas who freak-the-fuck-out whenever Reason says something critical of him.

            1. See, you look super butthurt because people aren’t slurping Reason sufficiently for you

              “the Trumpistas who freak-the-fuck-out”

              Like that. That’s butthurt squared bruh.

            2. No, we are “butthurt” because “libertarian socialists” are trying to take over libertarianism. Reason is just a symptom.

          2. sarcasmic drew the short aluminum straw to defend unreason today and he cannot even do that well.

            1. I’d have a tough time defending ‘Completely UnReasonable’ too. I mean, consider the material. 🙂

        2. Oh, you mean like praising censorship, flip-flopping on taxes, and generally opposing any reform of the welfare state? That kind of libertarianism?

          Now cue the inevitable “strawman” claims.

          1. In the sewer we call media, Reason isn’t perfect but it’s the most libertarian outlet out there.

            1. How quickly those goal posts move. Parroting NYT and Wapo is hqrdly the most libertarian publocation out there.

      2. They did have an article just yesterday on Ben Carson’s effort to de-regulate HUD.

        1. And 10 articles on Iran’s general getting turned into jam.

          1. Yeah. Reason isn’t libertarian because while they did have an article on deregulation, they posted a bunch of articles on news that filled the headlines. Come on…

            1. Poor sarcsmic, even unreason has him defending clicks.

    2. Reason is stuck in pro-Trump/anti-Trump nonsense. It would be nice if they could report on the other side, which argues that tariffs are necessary to stop China’s IP theft and currency manipulation. The American consumer and TRUMP! should not be the only thing we consider when we talk about trade policy.

      1. Why would they report the other side? You can get that anywhere.

        1. When did sarc devolve into an actual idiot?

        2. Thankfully we have Reason regurgitating pieces from the NYT which we clearly can’t get anywhere else.

      2. The American consumer and TRUMP! should not be the only thing we consider when we talk about trade policy.

        I thought libertarians subscribed to the Austrian school of economics, which indeed considers only the consumer. The purpose of production is consumption. It’s not jobs. It’s not propping up favored industries. No. It’s about the best deal for the consumer. And if a president is taking actions to get in the way of that, then yes libertarians aren’t going to shower him with praise.

        1. Yes, I’m pretty sure most libertarians are bit proponents of the Austrian school. But that doesn’t mean that the other side shouldn’t be discussed at all (and then presumably debunked on an ostensibly libertarian website).

            1. Longer sarc “I was wrong, but instead of admitting it, I’ll post a link and hope everyone ignores that I was wrong”

            2. Thanks for the link, I forgot about that site.

              1. You’re welcome. Since he changed to Facederp commenting the discussion has dried up. But his posts are still good. If I lived in the area I’d take a few economics classes with him just for fun. Or not. That’s not a cheap school.

          1. YOU CAN GET THE OTHER SIDE ANYWHERE!
            /Sarcasmic

            The main reason that unreason sucks is because it refuses to do unbiased articles topics important to Libertarian minded folks.

            You can get biased Lefty views from MSM.
            You can get biased Republican views from FOX.

            When people do a well support article about some topic, all sides tend to come out if the commenters want to really discuss the topic.

            1. all sides tend to come out if the commenters want to really discuss the topic.

              And by that you mean you and SPB and others shutting down discussion by spamming comments from people you don’t like with so many replies that conversation becomes somewhere between tedious and impossible?

              Yeah… Great discussion forum here.

              1. Eh, I don’t think SPB or the other trolls shut down any conversations here. They’re pretty easy to ignore. Once I’ve had an interaction with someone that showed that they don’t have anything interesting to say, I just start to ignore them.

                Sometimes they’ll follow you around like a little sibling looking for attention by yelling rude insults around the adults, but its easy enough to ignore. Every time you see someone’s name that you know doesn’t have any actual thoughts on the subject at hand, just scroll down the next comment. Once you do that, you’ll realize roughly 50% of the people here are reasonable, even if they are passionate or angry about a subject.

                Plenty of decent discussion still happens on this board.

              2. Poor sarcasmic. I was not even talking TO HIM but about him.
                He continues to defend unreason without ever mentioning all the actual sock trolls that unreason deploys or allows to follow us commenters around.

                Whatever, I still have good discussions with some real commenters from time to time.

        2. I thought libertarians subscribed to lower taxes and a reduced if not eliminated welfare state. And then there’s Reason.

          I know, I know, “STOP BEING MEAN TO REASON!!!!”

        3. Sarcastic: you don’t have any idea what the Austrian school is about. Stop spouting nonsense.

  10. REAL LIBERTARIANS LOVE TARIFFS FUCK YOU REASON STATISTS

    1. Hi DOL.

  11. You don’t need studies to see the obvious: that Trumpista maggots are also economically illiterate morons who really believe trade is a zero-sum game.

    You Trumpista white nationalist cocksuckers will be replaced – by far BETTER people. Better get your tikki torches and march up/down main street with that stupid empty look only you Trumpista motherfuckers know, you maggots.

    1. Hi SQRLSY

    2. Venezuela says hi.

    3. “Economically illiterate moron” should be your login id.

  12. @TripK2,

    I don’t know where in the world you got the idea that tariffs and current moronic Trumpista ‘economic’ policy is based on the protection of IP. Trump said many times “I like tariffs”. The IP protection excuse is just that – an excuse. If manufacturers were REALLY that concerned about their IP then they wouldn’t do business in China. The IP thing is just a red herring, a talking point meant to fool moronic, knuckle-dragging, Trumpista assholes.

    If I were concerned about someone stealing my stuff, I buy a safe, or an alarm, or insurance. I have no justification to make YOU pay for my concern. But seems like you are willing to make everyone else for the protection of someone else’s IP. I don’t believe it. You’re just another Trumpista willing to do or think anything for El Jefe.

    1. Well, you seem to be thinking of this in through the lense of Trump specifically, which is fine if you’re into being pro-Trump or anti-Trump. I’m more interested in what the more intellectually gifted people that support the policy actually believe.

      If manufacturers were REALLY that concerned about their IP then they wouldn’t do business in China

      From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t matter whether or not you do business in China. They steal your IP regardless, whether that’s through ZTE equipment embedded in our 4G LTE networks or because they saw your book and chose to publish it in Chinese and sell it in China without your consent.

      The IP thing is just a red herring, a talking point meant to fool moronic, knuckle-dragging, Trumpista assholes.

      As far as I can tell, you just wrote this without anything to back it up.

      If I were concerned about someone stealing my stuff, I buy a safe, or an alarm, or insurance. I have no justification to make YOU pay for my concern. But seems like you are willing to make everyone else for the protection of someone else’s IP. I don’t believe it. You’re just another Trumpista willing to do or think anything for El Jefe.

      Haha, okay man, don’t burst a blood vessel.

    2. How all the shit eating you do working for you SQRLSY?

    3. Whereas “Old Mexican” wants open borders, no tariffs, and high taxes to pay government handouts to people like him.

    4. Your ignorance is on display Old Methhead. IP is critical to many industries, and we lose hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue because someone steals our property. IP is the MOST important issue in the trade war.

  13. For the nth time, there is no fact vs. fiction debate here. It’s all semantics. Navarro says China is bearing the burden. Since when did burden only imply the dollar cost of goods? How can you be so duplicitous? You even admit that tariff good prices are increasing, non-tariff good prices are decreasing, and people aren’t buying tariff goods as much, yet fail to connect the dots between us not buying Chinese goods and China bearing the burden of tariffs. What do you think happens when a net importer stops buying from a net exporter?

    You say we should be concerned that US exporters can’t compete, but we’re not trying to prop up US exporters because the US is a net importer by a wide margin. We’re trying to protect domestic industry for DOMESTIC consumption because it can’t compete otherwise.

    Also, the only way you can eat the tariff is by buying tariff goods. If you don’t buy tariff goods but your prices go up by a lesser degree buying non-tariff goods, you can attribute that deadweight loss to the tariff, but you can’t discern anything meaningful about prices just because they were passed on 100% for tariff goods, especially since non-tariff good prices are falling according to your hyperlinked article.

  14. “When it comes to the trade war, then, it seems like there aren’t really winners and losers—just losers and bigger losers.”

    That is a widely believed statement. The problem with it is that the real world history of this country says tariffs produce prosperity whereas free trade cause a decline in wages that exceeds the decline in prices. From 1816 until after World War II the USA was the most tariff protected economy in the world. The result: we prospered.

    With respect to the impact of tariffs on consumer prices economist Vilfredo Pareto said

    “A protectionist measure provides large benefits to a small number of people, and causes a very great number of consumers a slight loss. This circumstance makes it easier to put a protectionist measure into practice.”

    Tariffs have not resulted in higher consumer prices as predicted by economist. See Gabor S. Boritt “Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream” for Abraham Lincoln’s 1840s argument that tariffs result in lower consumer prices and free trade results in higher consumer prices.

    In “The Myth of Free Trade the Pooring of America” Dr. Ravi Batra presents data that confirms Lincoln’s view this way:
     
    “Between 1869 and 1899, import volume of international trade fell far short of the growth in economic activity. Foreign competition became insignificant to most U.S. manufactures. Here, then, was the classic profile of an inward-looking economic system—one for which the advocates of free trade reserve their direst predictions. Here is a society which, according to their doctrine, would fritter away its precious resource; a society where the absence of foreign rivalry would lead to choking prices and shoddy products; where producers would have no incentive to innovate and improve; in short, a society that would gradually slide into mediocrity and even poverty”
     
    “What actually happened over these years is only too well known. The gross national product of the United States quadrupled between 1869 and 1900 when measured in constant (1929) dollars. In spite of a mushrooming population, real wages jumped 50 percent, retail prices tumbled 37 percent, and annual per capita income rose from $223 in 1869 to almost $500 in 1900.”

    Batra’s data confirms Lincoln was correct. Consumers did just fine. Note that today blue collar workers earn less in real wages than the did in 1972. Again confirming Lincoln.

    Bottom line: real world experience says Americans are more prosperous with tariffs than without tariffs.

  15. “These U.S. tariffs have been completely passed on to U.S. firms and consumers,” report economists from Princeton, Columbia, and the Federal Reserve.

    Ah, a bunch of statist, leftist, corrupt institutions! I’m convinced!

    In any case, it’s the wrong question to ask. Trump is conducting a trade war. In any war, both sides accumulate losses until one side gives in. That’s how wars work, even trade wars.

    The fact that you can’t distinguish between a trade war and protectionism is your problem.

  16. “New Studies Show Trump’s Tariffs Have Been Costly For U.S. Consumers and Businesses”

    OMG! Say it ain’t so!

    It is almost like the objective of the tariffs was to get people to stop buying Chinese stuff by making it more expensive. Oh, wait.
    Well, Eric, it has not been costly for those who quit buying Chinese products (as far as that is possible). For those who wish to provide economic assistance to a corrupt Communist regime, yeah, it has been an expense. But we have to assume that they are more interested in their commie buddies than in the USA.
    So if they can’t take a joke – – – – –

  17. I saw this article linked on reddit and immediately knew it was Boehm when the “libertarian socialist” there started defending it.

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