October saw record highs in tariffs, far surpassing those of last year.
The trade war created by Donald Trump is costing Americans big time. According to Business Insider, October marks the largest monthly tariff collection amount in history — and it may only be the beginning.
In October, American companies ended up paying $6.2 billion in tariffs. If this seems like a large amount, you’re right — it marks a 104 percent jump from October of last year when the cost came in at $3.1 billion. Tariffs for September of this year were $4.4 billion.
While the tariff costs are soaring, the same can’t be said for the value of imports. That has risen a mere 13 percent — which is raising concerns among many U.S. businesses. The tariffs are on aluminum, steel, and approximately $250 billion worth of goods regularly imported from China.
Steel is one of the biggest pieces of the tariff collections pie. In October, $446 million in steel tariffs was collected; meanwhile, aluminum tariffs rose to $134 million. The tariffs began in May of 2018; since their inception, U.S. companies have shelled out over $3.1 billion on importing these much-needed metals.
There’s another reason October was such a pricey month in terms of tariffs; it was also when Trump’s 10 percent Chinese goods tariff began. These tariffs cover about $200 billion worth of good and materials regularly imported from China. It also adds an additional 25 percent tariffs to the original $50 billion, which Trump began in July of 2018.
The raise in tariffs has been an abrupt and dramatic one. Before the current ones were imposed, most companies spent $0.40 billion a month on the exact same goods. This number has leapt to $2.6 billion as of this October — and experts believe it will only continue to grow.
Trump has been aggressively in favor of the tariffs, despite rising concerns and ever-expanding costs. In fact, he’s pushed for even stricter tariffs — something not all U.S. companies are thrilled about. When asked how businesses could avoid these tariffs, Trump suggested relocation.
“What I’d advise is for them to build factories in the United States and to make the product here,” he said to the Wall Street Journal. “And they have a lot of other alternatives.”
While the president’s enthusiasm for the tariffs is only growing, experts have some grave misgivings. Although he’s repeatedly insisted that China will foot most of the bill, American companies are quickly learning this is not true. An increasing number of U.S.-based companies have been forced to announce layoffs to cut costs or slow the rate of hiring for their businesses.
Experts warn that at this rate, consumers could see a definite rise in the cost of many of the goods impacted by these tariffs.
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