Trump’s Tariffs Are Raising Prices and Slashing Employment

So how are Donald Trump’s tariffs doing? We already know that they’re costing American consumers a bundle, but what’s their effect on the manufacturing sector? Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce took a look at various industries to see how sensitive they were to tariffs, and then used that data to calculate the overall effect of tariffs on US manufacturing. Here’s one piece of their analysis:

Total industrial production has remained fairly steady—though it started to show some weakness in 2019—but employment in affected industries was down substantially and producer prices were up substantially.

In additional to rising input costs, the authors also calculate the effect of import protection and foreign retaliation. The effect of import protection is minimal, but the effect of foreign retaliation is the same as input costs: there’s no big effect on industrial production, but employment is down and producer prices are up.

If this study holds up, it means that Trump’s trade war is (a) costing American families about $1000 per year, (b) cratering employment in the affected sectors, (c) sending producer prices up, and (d) putting hundreds of American farmers face to face with bankruptcy. Nice work, Mr. President.

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