“Our trade policy rests firmly on the foundation of free and open markets,” the president said. ronald reagan in 1986. Thirty years later, President Donald Trump tweeted: “The word TARIFFS is a really beautiful word.” His administration imposed, to applause from parts of the Republican Party, tariffs of up to 50% on steel, aluminum and a variety of Chinese products. After being the party of free trade for nearly four decades, some Republicans need a refresher course on the dangers of protectionism.
Republicans undoubtedly view the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as the crowning achievement of the Trump era. Yet many of those who announced their pro-growth tax relief for working families now support tax increases for these same families in the form of tariffs. Numerous studies they have shown that almost all of the costs of the tariffs initiated under the Trump administration were paid by American consumers and businesses. To take an example, the median price of a washing machine increased by $86 months after President Trump placed tariffs on them. According to the American Action Forum, Trump’s combined tariffs have increased consumer costs at about $51 billion a year.