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Press Release

TARIFF TRACKER: New Data Shows American Businesses Paying Unprecedented Tariffs; Exports Subject to Retaliation Declining Rapidly

November 5, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

CONTACT: [email protected] or [email protected]

On imports alone, monthly Census data on calculated duties shows a $1.4 billion spike from Trump Administration tariffs actions; U.S. businesses paid $4.4 billion in tariffs in September

Separate export data shows that once growing U.S. exports are declining because of tariffs; products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent in September compared to the previous year

(Washington D.C.) – New data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and compiled by The Trade Partnership from monthly U.S. government data, shows the dramatic cost increases and export declines the trade war has created for American businesses, farmers, and consumers. The September 2018 data, the most recent month available, shows that American businesses paid $4.4 billion in import tariffs, including a $1.4 billion increase in tariffs on products that have been targeted by Administration tariff actions. The $4.4 billion in tariffs paid in both August and September are unprecedented in U.S. history. Imported products subject to new tariffs by the Trump Administration accounted for nearly all of the increase. The export tariff data released today shows that retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports. In September, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year.

The data released today does not fully account for the impact of 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion in import tariffs and further retaliation from that action because those tariffs did not go into effect until September 24th. Those tariffs rise to 25% on January 1st, 2019.

“This historic rise in costs for American businesses, farmers and consumers is only the beginning,” said former Congressman Charles Boustany, a spokesman for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. “Tariffs are taxes on Americans and every month this trade war continues these taxes will continue to grow. This data doesn’t yet include the bulk of tariffs the Administration has imposed on $200 billion in products that Americans buy every day; tariffs that are set to rise to 25% at the end of this year.

“In the coming months these tariffs will reach directly into the pockets of U.S. consumers and will continue to impact the bottom line of U.S. businesses and farmers,” Boustany added. “Instead of doubling-down on tariffs that this data shows are clearly hurting Americans, it is time for meaningful negotiations to take place. We urge the Administration to pursue negotiations with our trading partners that will de-escalate the trade war and spare Americans further economic pain.”

The Tariff Tracker: The data released today is part of a monthly Tariff Tracker that Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has launched in conjunction with The Trade Partnership, who compiles monthly data released by the U.S. government. The monthly import data is calculated using date from the Census Bureau. The monthly export data is compiled using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As part of the Tariff Tracker project, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is releasing data on how individual states have been impacted by increased import tariffs and declining exports.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is the nationwide, non-partisan campaign opposing tariffs that is supported by over 150 trade association from every industry. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland has been holding town hall meetings on the tariff impact in communities across the country and has upcoming town halls in Washington state, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia. The campaign is also airing ads across 11 states in the Midwest that describe the impact of tariff increases on consumers and has launched an interactive map tracking the tariff impact on American employers.

More details on September 2018 Tariff Tracker data:


Overall: Tariffs cost American companies $4.4 billion in September. Tariffs paid increased $1.5 billion (54 percent) compared to September 2017, despite an increase of just 10 percent in the value of imports.

Trump Tariffs: Trump Administration tariffs cost American companies an extra $1.4 billion in September. Products subject to the Trump Administration actions currently in place faced $1.8 billion in tariffs in September, compared to just $393 million in September 2017. The large increase in tariffs came despite an 11 percent decline in the value of imports.

For specific data on steel and aluminum or Section 301 tariffs actions contact [email protected]


Overall: US export growth was rising steadily, but started falling when countries started applying retaliatory tariffs on US exports.

Change in US Exports Since Prior Year                Estimated Retaliatory Tariffs on US Exports


Retaliatory Tariffs: Retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports. In September, US exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs declined by $2.5 billion, or 26 percent, from the previous year. Export growth for products not subject to retaliatory tariffs have been consistent, so export declines on products subject to retaliation likely are not the result of unrelated trends.

Change in US Exports Since Prior Year                   Estimated Retaliatory Tariffs on US Exports


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