Heather Long reports Trump’s steel tariffs cost U.S. consumers $900,000 for every job created, experts say:
President Trump has shown little interest in removing the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed more than a year ago despite growing evidence Americans are paying a hefty price for these tariffs and increasing pressure from Republicans in Congress to remove them.
U.S. consumers and businesses are paying more than $900,000 a year for every job saved or created by Trump steel tariffs, according to calculations by experts at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The cost is more than 13 times the typical salary of a steelworker, according to Labor Department data, and it is similar to other economists’ estimates that Trump’s tariffs on washing machines are costing consumers $815,000 per job created.
“It’s very high. It’s arresting,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute who did the steel tariff cost calculation. “The reason it’s so high is that steel is a very capital-intensive industry. There are not many workers.”
Tariffs are simply taxes on imported goods, and Trump’s policy taxes consumers to support corporate producers.
More broadly, all sorts of government policies – federal, state, local – to subsidize one producer over another, or producers over consumers, often bring with them wasteful – absurd, truly – costs imposed on someone else.
A bureaucrat might say that his subsidies create, let’s say, ninety jobs, but neither genuine creation (rather than mere relocation) or the cost per job is properly assessed before committing to the spending plan.