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Tariffs total 2pc of federal taxes, but hurt US importers, exporters alike

US FIRMS that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more tariffs imposed by the Trump administration take effect, reports the Wall Street Journal

Tariffs total 2pc of federal taxes, but hurt US importers, exporters alike

US FIRMS that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more tariffs imposed by the Trump administration take effect, reports the Wall Street Journal

13 December 2018 - 19:00

US FIRMS that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more tariffs imposed by the Trump administration take effect, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Tariff collections topped US$5 billion in October, representing two per cent of federal tax revenue, according to data from the Treasury Department released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a lobby of manufacturing, farming and technology groups.



President Donald Trump campaigned on an aggressive trade agenda, and from early this year has imposed or considered tariffs on thousands of products from dishwashers to semiconductors.



US revenue from tariffs has begun to build rapidly only in the last few months, as more of the levies have taken effect.



The amount of tariffs being paid by US importers has doubled since May, including an increase of more than 30 per cent from August to October, according to the data.



The sum has risen through the year as steel and aluminum tariffs were applied to imports from a growing group of countries, then surged in October, which was the first full month in which US tariffs were in place on a full $250 billion of imports from China.



Many US companies are also facing retaliatory tariffs from China - and from Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other countries hit by US tariffs this year on steel and aluminum.



Data from the research group the Trade Partnership, which works with Tariffs Hurt the Heartland to assess the impact of tariffs, estimate that more than $1 billion in tariffs were paid on US exports in October, based on the volume of trade of affected goods.



Tariffs were the primary source of federal revenue before World War I, but that share has dwindled with the introduction of the income tax and the liberalisation of trade.


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