November 11, 2019
The lose-lose and still lingering trade war between the United States and China has cost both sides billions, and consumers and components importers are footing the biggest part of the bill.
Though holding onto a promise to protect consumers and a largely misaligned belief that tariffs on Chinese imports would only hurt China, President Trump’s and his four tranches of tariffs have fueled a multitude of adverse impacts for U.S. consumers and businesses alike.
“U.S. consumers are paying for the tariffs…in terms of higher prices,” said Alessandro Nicita, an economist at the UN trade agency, UNCTAD and author of the agency’s Trade and Trade Diversion Effects report released Tuesday. “Not only final consumers like us, but importers of intermediate products–firms which import parts and components from China.”
As such, punitively dutied product imports from China fell 25 percent in the first half of 2019, according to the report. But this may ultimately be more damaging for the U.S. than China, too.
“While substantial, this figure also shows the competitiveness of Chinese firms, which despite the substantial tariffs, were still able to maintain 75 percent of their exports to the United States,” the report noted.
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