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American Businesses Paid 54 Percent More in Trump Administration Tariffs in September

The Trump administration’s actions on trade have already proved substantially costly to American companies.

In September alone, U.S. businesses paid $4.4 billion in tariffs just on imported goods—and that’s up 54 percent over September 2017, according to a Tariff Tracker produced by industry coalition Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.

And exports are dwindling as companies look to stave off the cost increases.

On exports, products subject to retaliatory tariffs fell by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent year over year.

“This historic rise in costs for American businesses, farmers and consumers is only the beginning,” said former Congressman Charles Boustany, a spokesperson for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. “Tariffs are taxes on Americans and every month this trade war continues these taxes will continue to grow.”

What’s more, the data released Monday doesn’t even fully account for the impact of the 10 percent tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of goods from China that took effect at the end of September. And the impact will only grow increasingly severe if those tariffs do in fact rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019, as President Donald Trump has promised.

The potential ramifications for businesses’ bottom lines is big.

“Products subject to the Trump administration actions currently in place faced $1.8 billion in tariffs in September, compared to just $393 million in September 2017,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland said in releasing the numbers Monday. “The large increase in tariffs came despite an 11 percent decline in the value of imports.”

U.S. export growth had been rising steadily, but retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations hitting back at Trump’s trade actions have certainly served as a hindrance, with exports of tariff-targeted goods declining 26 percent this September compared to last.

“Export growth for products not subject to retaliatory tariffs have been consistent, so export declines on products subject to retaliation likely are not the result of unrelated trends,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland said.