#1 – the whole picture: Tracking the tariff barrage
- • As Congressional staffers and much of Washington D.C. return to their desks today, many will be struggling to wrap their heads around the totality of tariff changes. Thankfully, the Washington Post has been publishing a tariff tracker to help us keep up to date.
- • For those that want to dig one step deeper, check out the Peterson Institute's "Up-to-Date Guide" to the Trump Trade War, which includes key background, dates, and tariff lists.
#2 - THE IMPACTS AT THE STATE LEVEL: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOOL
• Another important resource for those tracking impacts at the state level is the Chamber of Commerce's new state-by-state tariff impact tool. This tool is particularly helpful for Congressional staff looking to calculate the retaliatory impacts from each trade action and the top impacted exports from their home states.
#3 – POLLING: HOW THE PUBLIC VIEWS THE TRADE WAr
• The Washington Post and the Schar School are out with a new poll tracking attitudes toward the rapidly expanding trade war. The big takeaway, according to the Post story, is that by wide margins the public believes that the trade war will make products more expensive. These findings track with decades of polling on trade that has shown the public largely understands the value of trade in keeping consumer prices down. However, decades of polling has also shown that voters idly believe trade hurts job creation. The WaPo/Schar poll reflects that finding, particularly among Republicans:
"While Republicans worry about the cost of products by a 56-37 margin, they notably think the trade war with China will actually be good for U.S. jobs, by a 64-29 margin."
• You can sort through the poll and toggle with variables including party ID and battleground Congressional districts HERE.
#4 – THE ANECDOTES FROM PRODUCERS
• The big question among pro-trade advocates is whether the growing wave of tariff pain anecdotes - in the form of layoffs, deferred investments, and rising production costs - will have any impact on the Administration. Thus far, the stories of economic loss have largely been ignored by the Administration. Even more head-scratching, the voters in the communities where the tariffs are having an impact are overwhelmingly reluctant to hold the President accountable for any economic damage.
Those big stories of tariff pain to date include:
• Mid-Continent Nail of Missouri laying off 60 employees
• Harley-Davidson saying it would move some production overseas
• Soy producers struggling throughout the country
• General Motors warning about a "smaller GM", lost jobs, and higher prices
• Sun Power laying off 150-250 employees because of solar panel tariffs
• Volvo saying tariffs could undermine 4,000 expected new jobs in South Carolina
Expect more of these stories to be highlighted in Congressional floor speeches, on TV ads, and at campaign events throughout the August recess. The question is whether they'll have any impact that moves the dial with the President.
#5 - THE $85 BILLION QUESTION: WHEN WILL CONSUMERS FEEL THE IMPACT?
While the Administration can likely survive the complaints of big business, the end of the trade war could be significantly hastened by large scale consumer outrage of increased costs. That's why a number of news outlets have been looking at price increases to see when and if a consumer revolt might happen. Here is some of the best reporting:
• The LA Times reports that consumer price increases may not be seen until next year
• USA Today breaks down cost increases for medical devices, farm equipment, and cars
• The Washington Post on price increases for washing machines, solar panels, and steel/aluminum
Prepared by Matt McAlvanah (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Monument Trade Team