May 23 (UPI) -- The lasting trade dispute between the United States and China is taking an unexpected toll on American businesses and consumers, a new study by the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.
The feud between Washington and Beijing has been going for more than a year and has been marked by periodic tariff penalties worth billions of dollars on imports and exports. The most recent, on May 10, imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $200 billion a year. U.S. President Donald Trump has said the tariffs are punitive measures for multiple Chinese transgressions. The IMF analysis, however, said it appears Americans have been the ones punished the most so far.
"Trade tensions have negatively affected consumers as well as many producers in both countries," the organization wrote in the analysis Thursday. "The tariffs have reduced trade between the U.S. and China, but the bilateral trade deficit remains broadly unchanged.
"While the impact on global growth is relatively modest at this time, the latest escalation could significantly dent business and financial market sentiment, disrupt global supply chains, and jeopardize the projected recovery in global growth in 2019."
Trade negotiations in Washington, D.C., this month have not produced a resolution.
"Consumers in the U.S. and China are unequivocally the losers," the study added, citing price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Chinese imports. "Tariff revenue collected has been borne almost entirely by U.S. importers. There was almost no change in the (ex-tariff) border prices of imports from China, and a sharp jump in the post-tariff import prices matching the magnitude of the tariff."
Trump suggested in a tweet this month that the United States is actually benefiting from the tariffs.
"I am very happy with over $100 billion a year in tariffs filling U.S. coffers," he wrote.
The IMF study said the conflict is expected to shed about 0.3 percent from the global gross domestic product, in the near term.
"Higher trade barriers would disrupt global supply chains and slow the spread of new technologies, ultimately lowering global productivity and welfare," it said. "More import restrictions would also make tradable consumer goods less affordable, harming low-income households disproportionately."