Many people who are against high taxes believe, at the same time, substantial tariffs on other countries’ goods. Here’s the problem: A tariff is a tax, a tax on imports Americans and producers in that country share the tax burden. And tariffs, like all other taxes, distort people’s decisions in ways that reduce wealth.

This is David R. From Henderson, “A tariff is a tax,” TaxbytesInstitute for Policy Innovation, 14 Sept. 2022.

Another quote:

If we buy a product mainly from China, and the US government imposes a tariff on that Chinese product, the product will become more expensive. So, we will buy less from China and more from Vietnam. It’s not just hypothetical. During his presidency, Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods four times, raising the average US tariff rate on imports from China from 3.1 percent to 21 percent. One result was that imports of manufactured goods from 14 Asian countries were $90 billion higher in 2021 than in 2018, and nearly half of that increase was from Vietnam.

When I did the research for this short piece, I was surprised to learn that the tariff rate on US imports from China increased from 3.1 percent to 21 percent. I guess that’s what happens when you raise taxes 4 times.

Read the whole thing, which is short.

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