As the trade war with China heats up, U.S. importers are already paying a bigger bill, according to calculations from a coalition of business groups called “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.”$3.4 billion of $6 billion in tariffs collected by the U.S. in June are from new duties imposed under President TrumpMore taxes on goods from China, paid for by U.S. importers and deposited into the U.S. Treasury, are slated to be imposed Sept. 1. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China may be heating up, but it’s also burning a hole in the income statements of U.S. importers of overseas goods.
U.S. companies paid $6 billion in import tariffs in June, a 73% increase from June 2018. About $3.4 billion of that total comes from new tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump in the past year, including those on imports of Chinese goods, according to calculations from “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,” a coalition of businesses and associations. The figures, compiled from U.S. Census Bureau data to discern taxes imposed under Mr. Trump’s administration, are the first from a month to include the most recent round of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. Those taxes were raised in May to 25% from 10% on about $200 billion of largely industrial goods from China.The values tracked for June don’t include a new round of tariffs of 10% on virtually every remaining consumer product imported from China to the U.S., or about $300 billion worth of products, slated to take effect Sept. 1. That move would mean the average tax on imported Chinese goods would be more than 20%, according to a recent estimate from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
And this time, consumers are more likely to feel the pinch, as the September list includes popular items like smartphones, clothing, footwear, food, electronics and books, including the Bible.U.S. companies, not countries, pay tariffs”Americans are already paying record-high tariffs, and the biggest hit to consumers is still to come on September 1,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Jonathan Gold said in a statement. Contrary to what Mr. Trump erroneously and repeatedly states in tweets, companies that import goods and services pay the tariffs to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, not countries like China. The proceeds wind up in the U.S. Treasury, and companies either absorb the cost or pass some or all of it to customers. In total, new tariffs imposed under Mr. Trump have added $27.2 billion to the Treasury, with more than 75% of that coming from the taxes that U.S. importers pay on Chinese-made goods, according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. At the same time, U.S. exports to China fell 19% in July from a year earlier to $10.9 billion, customs data showed Thursday, though that was an improvement over a 31% drop the previous month. Still, the trend is down: China’s imports of U.S. goods fell 28.3% in the first seven months of 2019 compared with a year earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs of China. That means U.S. companies are shipping fewer goods to what is still one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.Tales from the frontThe most recent round of tariffs has already forced Joseph Shamie, president of New York-based Delta Children, a maker of cribs, bassinets and toddler beds, to raise prices. Delta, which employs more than 300 people, isn’t able to quickly move production of some items from China easily because the workers are trained to make the items up to current U.S. safety standards. His goods were hit by the most recent 25% tariff already in effect.