U.S. News

Fed report: Tariffs contribute to job losses, increased production costs

By Daniel Uria   |   Dec. 30, 2019 at 5:58 PM
A recent Federal Reserve report found that tariffs imposed by the Trump administration since 2018 have contributed to a loss of manufacturing jobs and an increase in production costs in the United States. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

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Dec. 30 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's efforts to impose import tariffs to bolster U.S. manufacturing instead led to retaliatory tariffs that harmed some U.S. industries, according to a new Federal Reserve study.

The report by Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce of the Fed's Divisions of Research and Statistics and Monetary Affairs found that the tariffs enacted in 2018 were associated with a loss of manufacturing jobs and increased production costs.

"While the longer-term effect of the tariffs may differ from those that we estimate here, the results indicate that the tariffs, thus far, have not led to increased activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector," they wrote.

Some U.S. markets faced less international competition as a result of the tariffs, but the study found that the effect of this was offset by retaliatory tariffs and rising costs.

"Tariffs can have impacts through channels beyond their traditional effect of limiting import competition," the report stated.

The study found that the Top 10 industries affected by retaliatory tariffs were magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, agricultural chemicals, and computer equipment.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Supply Management's Production Manufacturing Index measured 48.1 percent, down 48.3 percent from October and marking the fourth consecutive month with measurements below 50 percent.

The contraction in manufacturing came amid the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China that has seen each country impose tariffs on billions of dollars of goods.

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