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Trump is Right: Tariffs Are Not Raising Consumer Prices

June 12, 2019

Donald Trump’s declaration that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods would jump to 25 percent in May gave rise to a firestorm of claims that the import taxes hurt U.S. consumers.


Recent history, however, suggests that these claims lack a basis in evidence. That’s a polite way of saying that they’re flat-out wrong.


In fact, Donald Trump’s insistence that American consumers do not suffer from tariffs is entirely borne out by the data.


Neither the tariffs placed on steel and aluminum imposed a year ago nor the more recent ten percent tariff on Chinese goods pushed prices of goods sold to consumers up. And now we have price data from May that once again indicate no tariff pricing pressure on consumers.


So who is paying for the tariffs? We know the U.S. government has collected billions in tariffs, so it is clear that someone is footing the bill. But keep in mind that when journalists and lobbyists claim, “tariffs are taxes on consumers,” this is inaccurate.



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