The Trump administration is preparing for new rounds of tariffs on imported Chinese goods yet again, this time putting a 10 percent import tax on roughly $300 billion of the trading partner’s economic output come September 1. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump ordered the imposition of these tariffs over the continued objections of some of his advisers — but not Peter Navarro, the at this point comparatively longtime Trump associate who’s consistently right there with him on the antagonistic trade stances. Confronted this weekend by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace over the increased costs to American consumers set to accumulate thanks to the higher price of bringing goods into the U.S. that his team wants to impose, Navarro completely punted the issue and claimed it doesn’t even exist.
After pointing out estimated impending price increases like a $70 spike on smartphones, Wallace tried to get a straight answer out of the babbler, posing the question:
‘American importers pay the tariffs when Chinese tariffs go through customs. They pay the tariffs, and sometimes, they pass them onto American consumers. True?’
Completely ignoring the data about the tariffs that his own boss has touted about the supposed large revenue from the tariffs that has to come from somewhere, Navarro lied without any apparent hesitation:
‘False, Chris. What we’ve seen clearly is that China has strategically gamed the tariffs by slashing their prices and by devaluing their currency. Since the tariffs were put in place back in 2018, the Chinese yuan fell by almost 10 percent. So they have offset virtually all of these tariffs, and the consumers are not seeing any price hikes in any significant way, and it’s not showing up in the data.’
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) August 4, 2019
Wrong! On washing machines alone average prices rose by an average of 12 percent in the wake of Trump’s tariffs, according to a team of economists including one from the Federal Reserve, which isn’t exactly some kind of nefarious interest conspiring against Trump’s plan. If a washing machine costs $500, that means the price went up by $60 — and according to the same report, the price of dryers went up by about the same amount, meaning that a basic expense of establishing a new residence has been at least $120 higher.
China making their currency less valuable apparently so that the more required by the tariffs means less in value does not erase these real domestic issues. As Wallace noted — numbers from his own administration’s Labor Department indicate that tariff-targeted goods have spiked in price!
Trump is continuing on with his tariffs plan anyway. Just the other day, he railed on Twitter:
‘Things are going along very well with China. They are paying us Tens of Billions of Dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going. So far our consumer is paying nothing – and no inflation. No help from Fed!’
Again — it is wrong that the American consumer is paying “nothing,” and American businesses that rely on carrying out newly taxed imports are also suffering. Trump and his cronies seem content to just wallow in their punitive antagonism towards China and others, however.
Featured Image via screenshot