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Trump’s Trade War With China May End Up Costing American Families Thousands

A new report challenges Trump's assertion that his trade war will stop China from taking advantage of American workers.

President Trump, driven as always by a desire to appear tough, has repeatedly threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on goods imported from China. A new report estimates that if he does the average American family of four will pay $2,300 for goods and services per year if that happens.

American and Chinese officials tried to negotiate a deal in meetings last week. While they were happening, Trump announced his intention to raise tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting China to respond with a plan to raise tariffs on $60 billion in American exports.

The Trump administration responded to that threat with a plan to impose tariffs on even more Chinese imports, products like apparel and toys, worth up to $300 billion. It’s these threatened tariffs that would really hurt American families, according to the report from Trade Partnership Worldwide, an economic research firm.

The authors of the study estimated the cost of these additional tariffs to the economy as a whole and divided by the average number of families of four for one to three years after the tariffs take effect.

But that’s just the beginning. Laura Baughman, the president of Trade Partnership Worldwide, says that job losses, slower economic growth, and fewer exports to China would also hit American families hard.

“There’s a ripple effect to this because of tariffs,” she told Time. “If you look at the sectors, the big job losses are in services because it’s about people not going out to dinner, putting off surgery or not using Uber or the subway because they’re not going to the office anymore.”

The combined U.S. threats would leave very few Chinese imports without tariffs. And if the trade war continues, the sales decline from tariffs could cause a net loss of 2.2 million jobs and leaving more Americans unemployed with higher prices to pay for the stuff they need.