Trump’s Trade Proposals Could Cost Americans $250 Billion Per Year

Candidate wants to dramatically increase tariffs on imported goods


Presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed imposing large tariffs on imported goods from China and Mexico, a move that could cost consumers $250 billion per year, according to a report from the American Action Forum, a nonprofit group.

"A protectionist trade agenda would have dramatic impacts on American consumers," the report said. "American importers would see their costs increase, which would most likely translate into price increases and reduced access to foreign goods."

When Trump first announced he was running for president in June 2015, he announced that he would impose a 35 percent tax on every car, truck, and auto part that came across Mexico’s border into the United States.

"Let me give you the bad news," Trump said. "Every car and every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35 percent tax."

In a January interview with the New York Times, Trump said he would impose a tax of 45 percent on Chinese goods coming into the U.S.

According to the American Action Forum, trade with China and Mexico makes up 31.3 percent of all U.S. trade. Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. currently does not impose any taxes on incoming Mexican products and the U.S. trade-weighted tariff rate is only 1.5 percent overall.

"To get a sense of the magnitude of the impact, we assume that the U.S. maintains its current import levels and businesses pass the entire cost of the tariffs on to consumers," the report said. "Under these assumptions, Trump’s plan could cost American consumers $250 billion per year."

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Ali Meyer

Ali Meyer   Email Ali | Full Bio | RSS
Ali Meyer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon covering economic issues that expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was a multimedia reporter with where her work appeared on outlets such as Drudge Report and Fox News. She also interned with the Heritage Foundation and Pacific Research Institute. Her Twitter handle is @DJAliMeyer, and her email address is

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