American businesses and consumers have paid nearly $100 billion in stealth taxes since Trump imposed tariffs foreign goods and what do we as a nation have to show for that aside from a slightly smaller budget deficit?
This doesn't necessarily tell us anything we don't already know, but the Federal Reserve says Trump's trade war has not accomplished anything it was suppose to accomplish.
In fact, the Fed says Trump's trade war has done the opposite of what it was suppose to do.
“We find that the 2018 tariffs are associated with relative >reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” concluded Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce, in an academic paper.
While the tariffs did reduce competition for some industries in the domestic U.S. market, this was more than offset by the effects of rising input costs and retaliatory tariffs, the study found.
“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,” the study said.
Trump's trade war was suppose to increase employment in manufacturing, but it didn't and it never will. And it's not just because Trump is actually a terrible, failed businessman.
Protectionist trade policies are a dead end that do not benefit anyone side from wealthy shareholders who happen to own stock in commodities that benefit from a temporary boost in prices. Shareholders who owns stocks in metal benefited from Trump's tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, but it didn't last. The relative value of the metal industry has collapsed in the year since Trump first imposed tariffs. The metal industry is shedding jobs and other industries that use metal, like the automobile industry, are cutting jobs as well.
The trade war has caused far more harm than good because it has increased the cost of manufacturing for nearly every industry including the ones the war was suppose to help.
If a future president decides to start their own trade war or simply continue Trump's war, it's not going to end any differently.