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March 6 2018

How New Tariffs Could Raise the Prices of Your Everyday Goods

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Will you be picking up a six-pack of soda or some cans of soup at the grocery store this week? Do you plan to purchase a new car in the near future?

We take these purchases for granted, but everyday items that we use and consume could get more expensive if the U.S. goes through with tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

Last week, President Trump announced that he would impose a 25-percent tariff on steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports. Tariffs are just taxes on goods imported from another country. The move is meant to protect domestic industries and save the jobs they support, which the president says have been decimated by countries like China flooding the U.S. market with cheaper steel and aluminum. 

The stock market fell 586 points in response to the president's announcement late last week.

Businesses, industry leaders, lawmakers, organizations, and economists are pushing back

Opposition and concerns with this proposal are well founded. A blanket tariff on steel and aluminum will likely trigger a trade war with our other countries and they will reciprocate with tariffs of their own on other goods. The prices of steel and aluminum will also rise driving up production costs for manufacturers to produce other products.

Major industries will be affected immediately such as automobile sector, aerospace, heavy equipment, and construction.  

Here are 10 products in your home that could more expensive because of an aluminum tariff:

  1. Washing machines

  2. Cans of soup

  3. Sinks and faucets

  4. Cans of beer

  5. Ladders

  6. Car rims

  7. Mailboxes

  8. Bike frames

  9. Tin foil

  10. Gates

This is not the first time in recent history that the U.S. has tried to impose tariffs leading to bad results. In 2002, the Bush Administration imposed a tariff of up to 30 percent on steel imports, but it was abandoned a year later. Some 200,000 Americans lost their jobs as a result of the higher steel prices.

As history demonstrates, a tariff meant to help a few will hurt many more workers, industries, and Americans. 

Now is not the time to undermine our robust economy, strong jobs market, and rising wages as well as the benefits of recently passed tax cuts and tax reforms including salaries increases, bonuses, and new benefits to American workers. 

Free trade is a bedrock principle of any economy that wants to innovate, stay competitive, and grow. When countries specialize in producing the goods and services they do best and trade for others, nations are richer and consumers benefit from more options and better prices. If we abandon these principles, we risk losing the benefits of a flourishing economy.

 

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Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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