Americans Paid $7.6 Billion in Tariffs During August, a New Monthly Record
Former President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on a wide range of imported goods, President Joe Biden has refused to cut them, and that bipartisan opposition to free trade means Americans are now paying higher import taxes than ever.
The federal government collected more than $7.6 billion in tariffs during the month of August, according to recently released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracks economic data. That’s an amount that exceeds even the highest single-month total during the Trump administration and one that dwarves monthly tariff revenue from earlier years.
Monthly US tariff costs spiked under Trump. They’ve gotten even worse under Biden.
The $7.66B in August 2021 tariffs was 13% above the worst month of Trump admin (September 2019).
— Dan Anthony (@DanAnthonyDC) October 5, 2021
Dan Anthony, managing director of Trade Partnership Worldwide, an economic research firm, confirmed in an email to Reason that August’s revenue figures are the highest on record. Tariff exclusions and refunds could reduce that figure in future updates, he noted, if the Biden administration approves retroactive tariff exclusions. However, he says it seems unlikely that enough exclusions would be granted for tariffs to fall below previous records.
As the economy has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau data shows, Americans are importing more valuable goods than ever—and paying more to the government for the privilege. America imported $287 billion worth of goods during August, also the highest total on record. The country’s trade deficit—the gap between the value of all imports and all exports, which Trump had claimed would be reduced by hiking tariffs—was $73.3 billion, also the highest ever recorded.
It can be a mistake to make too much out of a single month’s economic data, but these numbers provide so
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