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Your Opinion: Impact of tariffs

Your Opinion: Impact of tariffs

August 14th, 2019 in Opinion

Bert Dirschell

Centertown

Dear Editor:

It has been refreshing to see that people understand that tariffs (taxes) on imports raise the price of products in the U.S. Hopefully the grasp of this concept will allow voters to gain an understanding that businesses don’t pay taxes, they just pass the cost through to the end consumer of their product. Politicians love to push policies that include higher taxes on those “rich” businesses because they think voters are too stupid to understand that higher taxes on business result in higher prices for the consumer. Are we?

The impact of tariffs can be mitigated. China has chosen to do so by manipulating the value of their currency. In March 2018, it cost $1.59 to buy a Chinese product that cost 10 yuan. Today it costs only $1.42 to buy that same product, because the value of China’s currency had dropped against the U.S. dollar. Before tariffs are applied, all Chinese imports are currently 12 percent cheaper than they were before tariffs were started.

In 2018, we imported $540 billion worth of products from China. Starting Sept. 1 the U.S. will impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports, in addition to the current 25 percent tariff on another $250 worth of imports.

Assuming we import $600 billion worth of goods from China in 2019 the 12 percent currency devaluation is currently saving U.S. consumers $70 billion dollars per year. The total of both tariffs will add $62.5 billion to the cost of Chinese imports.

Are we to believe that other nations, including the U.S., are incapable of producing the products on the 25 percent tariff list? If the price of Chinese imports is increased by a “real” 25 percent are manufacturing/labor costs in the U.S. so high that U.S. manufactures still can’t compete? See lists of products subject to the tariffs at www.ecomcrew.com/trumps-china-tariffs/

A side note: In 2018, the U.S. exported $120 billion worth of goods to China. About $28 billion of that was for transportation equipment. Computers and electronics came in second at $18 billion, with chemicals taking third place at $16 billion. Oil and gas exports were fifth on the list at $7.1 billion (thank you frackers) and farm crops came in sixth at $5.9 billion.