Research

The Total Cost of Trump’s New Tariffs

*This analysis has been updated to reflect the Trump Administration’s final list of products affected by the first and second rounds of Section 301 tariffs. The product list for third round of Section 301 tariffs is still under public review; this analysis will be updated when the list is finalized.

Over the past six months, President Trump has imposed significant new tariffs on U.S. imports. In addition to the tariffs already in force, and the tariffs announced but not yet in effect, the president has also made sweeping tariff threats against trading partners such as China and the European Union (EU). Previous American Action Forum (AAF) analyses examined how new tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico, the EU, and others will increase costs for U.S. consumers. This analysis compiles these estimates, with updated figures, to determine what overall impact these tariffs might have on prices of goods in the United States.

This analysis focuses exclusively on tariffs that have either been enacted or officially ordered under Section 232 or Section 301. Section 232 allows the president to impose trade barriers if the Department of Commerce finds that imports threaten U.S. national security, and Section 301 enables the president to impose tariffs or quotas when the U.S. Trade Representative finds that other nations are engaging in unfair trade practices.

An Excel file detailing the tariffs that have already been enacted or proposed and the products they affect can be found here. Table 1 below displays estimates of how the tariffs could impact nationwide consumer costs.

Table 1: The Total Cost of New Tariffs by the Trump Administration

Tariff

Value of Affected Imports (Billions)

Additional Cost Burden (Billions)

Section 232, Steel

$23.4

$5.8

Section 232, Aluminum

$16.6

$1.7

Section 301, Pt 1

$32.3

$8.1

Section 301, Pt 2

$13.7

$3.4

Section 301, Pt 3

$197.2

$19.7

Total

$283.2

$38.7

Data for this analysis was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau and the International Trade Commission, both of which have import levels for almost all of the products identified by the Trump Administration’s tariff lists. Altogether, the president’s proposed tariffs could increase nationwide consumer costs by nearly $40 billion annually. This estimate assumes that 100 percent of the tariffs will be passed on to consumers and that current import levels will not change.

Thus far, the president has imposed worldwide tariffs on both steel and aluminum under Section 232 (with quotas agreements for Australia, Argentina, South Korea, and Brazil) and ordered tariffs on roughly $250 billion of imports from China under Section 301. Of the $250 billion, tariffs are currently levied on approximately $34 billion. Tariffs on approximately $16 billion will go into effect on August 23, and additional tariffs on approximately $200 billion are currently undergoing public review. Additionally, President Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of imports from China and launched an investigation into the national security threat of imported automobiles and auto parts. Tariffs on these products would place even more upward pressure on prices, raising costs for consumers further and making it more expensive to produce goods in the United States.

 

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