As higher tariffs and the threat of more tariffs slow the economy and rattle financial markets, President Trump is doubling down on what he says are tariffs’ benefits. As Trump recently tweeted, “When you are the “Piggy Bank” Nation that foreign countries have been robbing and deceiving for years, the word TARIFF is a beautiful word indeed!” But economists generally don’t see the benefits. For economists, tariffs operate like taxes, increasing the price of goods to consumers and often costing jobs, not creating them.
The conservative Tax Foundation estimates the total price of Trump’s tariffs—existing, proposed, and retaliatory tariffs imposed in response by other countries—will cost $196.7 billion of GDP (about 0.7% of economic output) and 609,644 jobs. And if broad tariffs are enacted against