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Trump's tariffs cost US businesses $3.4 billion in June, trade advocacy group says

Key Points
  • The bite represents a $2.4 billion increase from what businesses paid the same month last year, despite a 31% decline in imports.
  • The figures compiled from U.S. Census Bureau data capture the first month after the escalation of tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  • This does not include the 10% tariff President Trump announced last week on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports.
A docker works in front of a container ship at Qingdao Port in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China.
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President Donald Trump's tariffs cost U.S. businesses $3.4 billion in June alone, according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of trade associations and agriculture commodity groups.

That represents a $2.4 billion increase from what businesses paid the same month last year, despite a 31% decline, or $7.5 billion, in imports.

The figures compiled from U.S. Census Bureau data capture the first month after the escalation of tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Family-owned Yedi Houseware says it has already paid more than $300,000 in tariffs this year. The Los Angeles-based company sells air fryers, pressure cookers and dinnerware, which it sources from China.

"It's really, really hurting us. We've had to increase prices and sales dropped more than 40%," said Yedi vice president Bobby Djavaheri.

The pain promises to get worse, now that Trump last week announced a 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports, effective Sept. 1.

"Americans are already paying record-high tariffs, and the biggest hit to consumers is still to come on September 1," Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Jonathan Gold said in a statement.

Trump has maintained that he can get a better deal with China by using tariffs as a negotiating tactic.

While the first set of tariffs were aimed at industrial components, the remainder hit items Americans buy directly, like toys, cellphones, computers, shoes, clothes and video games. The September effective date is about when companies bring shipments in for the holidays.

"Taxing hardworking Americans isn't doing a thing to address China's trade abuses. Instead, these tariffs are costing American jobs, raising prices, hurting farmers and derailing U.S. economic growth," Gold said.

While Trump claims that China is harder hit by the tariffs, the numbers say otherwise.

Over the last year, U.S. imports from China subject to tariffs fell by $21 billion as U.S. exports subject to retaliation fell by $25 billion.

"Ultimately the U.S. is paying a lot more tariffs, and buying somewhat less. The Chinese aren't really paying as much in tariffs, but it's because they just stopped purchasing altogether," said Dan Anthony, vice president of The Trade Partnership, which compiled the data.

Since the beginning of the trade war in 2018 through June of this year, tariffs have cost U.S. buyers $27 billion, according to the report.

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Kudlow: Trump is willing to be flexible on tariffs, depending on trade talks
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Economy

Kudlow: Trump is flexible on China tariffs depending on how trade talks go

Key Points
  • President Trump remains open to a trade deal with China, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow tells CNBC.
  • The two sides are set to meet again in September after recent talks in Shanghai failed to produce progress.
  • The tariff burden is "falling almost 100% on China," Kudlow insists.