The Federal Reserve has released a study showing that Donald Trump’s tariff policies backfired on Americans in 2018 in two major ways: They inflated the price of goods and they decreased the number of manufacturing jobs.
“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” write Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce of the Federal Reserve Board. “In terms of manufacturing employment, rising input costs and retaliatory tariffs each contribute to the negative relationship, and the contribution from these channels more than offsets a small positive effect from import protection. For producer prices, the relative increases associated with tariffs are due solely to the rising input cost channel.”
As the researchers note, some people may view increased costs of products as an acceptable tradeoff for a “more robust manufacturing sector.” But their research shows that, at least in the short term, Trump’s “tariffs have not boosted manufacturing employment or output, even as they increased producer prices.”
In short, globally interconnected supply chains have complicated policies that Trump thought would serve to protect and promote domestic manufacturing. So there’s basically been no upside to the price upticks American consumers have been absorbing at the cash register. #MAGA