President Trump has repeatedly proclaimed that when it comes to tariffs on Chinese goods, China pays the price.
But it’s U.S. consumers who actually pay, if export and import firms and manufacturers choose to pass along the cost. And trade groups and economic studies show that U.S. consumers already are seeing higher prices on a range of items — luggage and major appliances such as washing machines, for instance — that were subject to previous tit-for-tat tariffs in the U.S.’ escalating trade battle with China or retaliatory tariffs from other foreign countries.
With the Trump administration’s tariff increase from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods announced Friday, prices could rise on other goods as well. China retaliated Monday with tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on $60 billion of U.S. goods.
The tariffs so far appear to have had a modest impact on overall inflation. The U.S. consumer price index for the 12 months that ended in April, excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, rose 2.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was little changed from the prior four months, when the CPI showed trailing 12-month increases of 2.0% to 2.2%.
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