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Trump's Tariffs On Washing Machines Costs Americans $1.5B

A 50% tariff hike last year is giving Americans sticker shock on these major appliances.
Trump's Tariffs On Washing Machines Costs Americans $1.5B
Image from: iStock Photo

A move that was supposed to hurt imports from China, Korea, Mexico, and other countries is instead hitting the American consumer hard, just as many said it would, including Ben Sasse, a Republican Senator from Nebraska, who said when these tariffs were announced, "Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this — not big companies."

Yup.

Source: Reason

President Donald Trump's tariffs on washing machines resulted in consumers paying an extra 12 percent, on average, to buy a new dryer last year, new data show.

Yes, you read that correctly. Tariffs on imported washing machines ended up increasing not only the retail price of washing machines but dryers too—despite the fact that dryers were not subject to the new import taxes imposed by the Trump administration in January 2018. Research from a trio of economists at the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve show that retailers made the decision to hike the price of both washing machines and dryers (since they are frequently bought together) after the tariffs took effect.

All told, those tariffs raised about $82 million for the U.S. Treasury but ended up increasing costs for consumers by about $1.2 billion during 2018 economists Aaron Flaaen, Ali Hortacsu, and Felix Tintelnot conclude. Although the trade policy did cause some manufacturers to shift production from overseas to the United States in an effort to avoid the new tariffs, the 1,800 jobs created by Trump's washing machine tariffs cost consumers an estimated $820,000 per job.

An ode to the freedom of the once humble washing machine, by Kate Bush.

Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Get that dirty shirty clean
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Make those cuffs and collars gleam
Everything clean and shiny

Washing machine
Washing machine
Washing machine

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