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February 15, 2019

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US firms losers in Trump’s trade war

US BUSINESSES paid an additional US$2.7 billion in tariffs in November, according to data from a coalition of US business groups.

The group, which brands itself “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” and includes the Americans for Free Trade coalition and Farmers for Free Trade, crunches tariff payment data nationally and by state.

The data is part of a monthly series called the Tariff Tracker, which the group releases in a tie-up with The Trade Partnership, a Washington-based international trade and economic consulting firm.

The monthly import data, it said, is calculated using numbers from the US Census Bureau, and the monthly export data is compiled using numbers from the Census Bureau and the US Department of Agriculture.

The November numbers are the latest government ones available due to the recent US government shutdown, which ended only recently.

The group’s spokesman, former Republican congressman Charles Boustany, said the data shows Americans — and not foreign competitors — are the big losers in the trade war.

“US businesses are being hit by a double whammy of historic tax increases in the form of tariffs and declining exports as farmers and manufacturers lose opportunities in the overseas markets they rely on,” Boustany said.

The group also said retaliatory tariffs have severely impacted US exports.

In November, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by US$4.1 billion, or 37 percent, from the previous year, it said.


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