July 11, 2022

Average Households Paid More than $1,200 for Tariff Costs in 2020

Pulling back on the wave of new and expanded tariffs implemented in 2018-19 would provide immediate relief to businesses and individuals that are struggling against high inflation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark wrote in an op-ed for Barron’s earlier this month.

As Clark notes, tariffs are essentially taxes paid almost entirely by U.S. businesses and consumers and they disproportionately impact low-income families that spend a larger share of their income on household goods and necessities, rather than services. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that tariffs cost the average U.S. household more than $1,200 in 2020. Meanwhile, the government’s revenue from tariffs has grown from $30 billion in 2017 to $100 billion in 2022.

Cutting or reducing those tariffs would lower the cost of raw materials and components needed to manufacture goods in the United States, leading to lower prices. “Inflation has reached its highest level in four decades. Families across the country are feeling the hit to their pocketbooks,” Clark writes. “There’s no panacea for these woes, but tariff relief could provide quick and meaningful help for American families and businesses.”