Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The Trump administration's repeated acts to punitively tax China during the long-running trade conflict is costing U.S. businesses -- to the tune of $3.4 billion in June alone, federal data shows.
Trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland cited the figures in a report Tuesday, which said that cost for U.S. companies for the same month a year ago was just $1 billion.
The greater cost in June follows a 31 percent decline in Chinese imports.
Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is a coalition of trade associations and agriculture groups that formed as a direct result of the U.S.-China trade dispute, which began more than a year ago. A major part of the administration's strategy has been to levy tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products imported into the United States.
The tariffs against China, however, are paid by U.S. importers -- who then often pass on the cost to consumers. The administration's strategy is that by imposing the tariffs, American importers will look elsewhere in the supply chain. The federal data cited by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, however, suggest that doesn't appear to be happening.
Yedi Houseware, for example, paid more than $300,000 in tariffs for materials it sources from China.
"It's really, really hurting us," said Yedi Vice President Bobby Djavaheri. "We've had to increase prices and sales dropped more than 40 percent."
The United States has so far collected $22 billion in tariffs from importers, but Trump has promised $28 billion in aid to American farmers whose China sales have declined significantly.
Last week, Trump announced an additional 10 percent tax on certain imports, including toys, shoes and video games -- and China vowed to retaliate.
"Ultimately the U.S. is paying a lot more tariffs, and buying somewhat less," said Trade Partnership Vice President Dan Anthony. "The Chinese aren't really paying as much in tariffs, but it's because they just stopped purchasing all together."