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Attention: This Is Who Pays for Tariffs

At a time when the high cost of living is the most important financial issue for American families, it is irresponsible for either party to defend tariffs that increase the cost of imported and domestic goods. But according to a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, “The notion that tariffs are a tax on US consumers is a lie pushed by outsourcers and the Chinese Communist Party.”

That’s inaccurate.

According to the federal government’s comprehensive analysis of Section 301 tariffs, their cost has been almost entirely borne by American consumers:

“Chinese exporters have largely maintained the same prices and U.S. importers have absorbed the costs of the tariffs through a combination of less-favorable margins for sellers and higher prices for consumers or downstream buyers.”

To reiterate, this statement is not from the Chinese Communist Party but from the United States International Trade Commission’s analysis prepared in response to a request from Congress.

Bizarrely, by alleging that tariffs are not paid by Americans, the RNC finds itself in the position of defending the Biden administration’s recent extension of Section 301 tariffs that had been scheduled to expire. The Democrat administration also imposed new Section 301 tariffs on medical goods used by American healthcare providers, steel used by American manufacturers, and other products.

On this date in 1930 President Herbert Hoover signed the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law, exacerbating the Great Depression. The U.S. Senate website describes the Smoot-Hawley tariff as one of the most catastrophic acts in congressional history. We certainly do not want to repeat that mistake.