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Tariffs: current status


Mr. Bill:
Reuters has a good summary of all the current tariffs imposed by the US on foreign imports and vice versa:

5/13/19: Factbox: Tariff wars - duties imposed by Trump and U.S. trading partners

(I'm posting this for financial planning purposes, not to start a discussion about trade war politics.)


Trade war ... not really... the real story.

Are you kidding me?

I’m used to partisan, inaccurate drivel from all sides these days, but the media’s coverage of President Trump’s tariffs and the so-called “trade war” takes some kind of cake.
There’s no serious doubt that some in the media would absolutely love to tank the stock market. They figure that would hurt Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. Monday’s stock market slump, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.82% tumble 2.4% and the Nasdaq Composite 3.4%, looked just like what the doctor ordered.

I write this, incidentally, as someone who is no fan of the president. But I remember when politics was supposed to stop at the water’s edge. And, anyway, facts are facts. Most of what the public is being told about these tariffs is either misleading or a downright lie. ...

Edited due to copyright issues -- please see here for Fair Use info.

Mr. Bill:
Marketwatch, 12/28/19: Fed study finds Trump tariffs backfired

--- Quote ---President Donald Trump’s strategy to use import tariffs to protect and boost U.S. manufacturers backfired and led to job losses and higher prices, according to a Federal Reserve study released this week. ...
--- End quote ---

The report itself: Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector (3 MB PDF)

The conclusions section from the report:

--- Quote ---This paper examines the effect of the tariff increases imposed by the United States and its trading partners in 2018 on outcomes in the U.S. manufacturing sector. We calculate measures of each industry’s exposure to tariff changes via three channels: the import protection that comes when an industry’s output is subject to U.S. tariffs, the increase in production costs resulting from tariffs on imported inputs, and the reduction in foreign competitiveness due to retaliatory tariffs in U.S. export markets. We then estimate the relationship between these measures of exposure to tariffs and manufacturing employment, output, and producer prices.

We find that the 2018 tariffs are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices. For manufacturing employment, a small boost from the import protection effect of tariffs is more than offset by larger drags from the effects of rising input costs and retaliatory tariffs. For producer prices, the effect of tariffs is mediated solely through rising input costs.

These results have implications for evaluating the effects of recent U.S. trade policy. While one may view the negative welfare effects of tariffs found by other researchers to be an acceptable cost for a more robust manufacturing sector, our results suggest that the tariffs have not boosted manufacturing employment or output, even as they increased producer prices. While the longer-term effects of the tariffs may differ from those that we estimate here, the results indicate that the tariffs, thus far, have not led to increased activity in the
U.S. manufacturing sector.

In addition, our results suggest that the traditional use of trade policy as a tool for the protection and promotion of domestic manufacturing is complicated by the presence of globally interconnnected supply chains. While the potential for both tit-for-tat retaliation on import protection and input-output effects on the domestic economy have long been recognized by trade economists, empirical evidence documenting these channels in the context of an advanced economy has been limited. We find the impact from the traditional import protection channel is completely offset in the short-run by reduced competitiveness from retaliation and higher costs in downstream industries.
--- End quote ---

As a study on the manufacturing sector, ok.  The consensus from economists in the tariff build up was that it would drive up costs. 

The report/headlines are notably silent on what I feel is the most important goal of the tariffs:  calling China on the carpet for intellectual property protection (forced technology transfers).


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