Trump's tariffs on China really a tax on Americans?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Chris Woodward (

Cargo ships at seaThe Trump administration plans to increase the amount of tariffs on goods coming from China, but some critics warn that his plan will harm Americans.

For months, the Trump administration has been involved in trade talks with China – the argument being that China has been taking advantage of the United States.

The talks were reported to be going well, but things evidently took a turn for the worse over the weekend, when – according to the Trump administration – China started going back on some of the language in the draft agreement.

As a result, on Friday, the Trump administration will raise tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in goods from China.

Meanwhile, U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, will also begin a process of adding 25-percent tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese imports. In other words, everything that China imports to the U.S. may be subject to tariffs in the near future.

Tory Whiting, an economist for the Heritage Foundation – an organization that views tariffs as taxes paid by consumers – contends that the tariffs can adversely affect American consumers.

"[That's] clothing, food, really basic consumer products – a lot of the things that people would pick up and buy at Walmart," Whiting pointed out. "You're talking about direct consumer impact almost immediately in that scenario."

While speaking at the White House last week, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. was hitting China where it hurts.

"We're taking in billions of dollars from China in the form of tariffs," he said. "We've never taken in 10 cents from China, [and] now we're taking in billions and billions of dollars."

The economic expert warned that Americans should be preparing to spend more money for everyday goods as a result of the tariffs – which she sees as just another form of tax.

"Almost every time he threatens tariffs, they go into place, so we should absolutely be taking this seriously," Whiting impressed. "We should – as conservatives, as free traders – we should be promoting the policies that we think will work that will not include taxing the American people."

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