The US raked in a record $7.2 billion in tariffs in October, new data shows
- The US government collected a record amount in tariffs in October as a trade dispute between the Trump administration and China escalated.
- Revenue from import taxes jumped to $7.2 billion that month, the most in history and a $1 billion rise from the same time a year earlier.
- While the White House often asserts that foreign exporters pay tariffs, evidence shows those costs largely fall on domestic business and consumers.
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The US government collected a record amount in tariffs in October as a trade dispute between the Trump administration and China escalated, according to new data released Monday.
Revenue from import taxes jumped to $7.2 billion that month, the free-trade advocacy groups Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and The Trade Partnership said. That was the most in history and a $1 billion rise from the same time a year earlier.
President Donald Trump slapped steep duties on an additional $111 billion worth of Chinese imports September 1, hitting far more consumer products than in previous tranches. He is scheduled to further escalate tariffs this Sunday as the two sides struggle to hammer out the details of an interim trade agreement.
"Even when faced with this staggering number, it's still unclear whether the president will follow through with his threat to raise taxes yet again," said Jonathan Gold, a spokesperson at Americans for Free Trade. "This trade war has lasted long enough and done enough damage."
While the White House often asserts that foreign exporters pay tariffs, evidence shows those costs largely fall on domestic business and consumers. Roughly $42 billion in additional tariffs were paid between February 2018 and October 2019, according to the data.
Trade-dependent sectors like manufacturing have been hit particularly hard by the trade dispute. The free-trade groups said that top swing states - including Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - have paid additional $7.66 billion in import tariffs over the past year and a half.
China has retaliated against the Trump administration with tariffs of its own on American imports, particularly on politically sensitive agricultural goods. Chinese tariffs on US exports have totaled $12 billion since the start of the trade war, the free-trade groups said, and topped $1.3 billion in October.
Trump has sought to placate farmers through a more than $28 billion bailout program. For 2019, the Department of Agriculture projects that more than a third of farm income will come from government subsidies.
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