Trump’s Tariffs Plan Would Raise Prices for American Consumers

By: Lauren | Published: Apr 16, 2024

The 2024 presidential election is only a few months away, and it’s expected to be one of the closest races in US history. The two candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, have both been president before, so for the first time in centuries, Americans more or less know what to expect if either is elected.

Donald Trump, the Republican candidate and former president, has proven during his time in office and throughout his three campaigns that he has big plans to change America. One of those plans is to instate extreme tariffs on imported goods, and some argue this plan is going to cause serious problems for the average citizen.

Donald Trump Plans to Make Big Changes if Elected

Over the past year, Trump has simultaneously been battling criminal and civil charges in a New York Court room and running for president of the United States.

Photograph of former president and 2024 candidate Donald Trump looking frustrated during a speech

Source: Shutterstock

During his campaign, the former president has made several sweeping promises to his hopeful supporters, including rolling back President Biden’s green energy legislation, deporting thousands of undocumented migrants, and what he calls the “America First” agency, which sets universal tariffs for all imported goods.

Donald Trump: The “Tariff Man”

Back in 2018, Trump wrote a post on X, formerly Twitter, which said, “I am a Tariff Man.When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.”

Screenshot of a post by Donald Trump on his X profile regarding foreign tariffs

Source: @realDonaldTrump/X

Now, nearly six years later, Trump is doubling down on his promise to be America’s “Tariff Man,” which plans to increase the import tax for almost every country that plans to sell their products in the US.

Increasing Tariffs all Around

Trump says if he finds himself in the Oval Office again in six months, he will immediately add a 10% tariff for any and all imported goods. Except for China, that is.

Digital illustration of a Chinese manufacturing plant with dozens of boxes that read “Made in China”

Source: iStock

Products from China being sold in the United State won’t have a 10% tariff but a 60% fee instead. Trump hopes that this outrageous number will deter both Chinese companies from attempting to sell their products in the US and American citizens from buying them. However, it may have other effects.

Financial Experts Are Deeply Concerned by Trump’s Tariff Plan

Trump claims that his tariff plan will put “America First,” but financial experts are arguing that he may be doing the exact opposite. By increasing import taxes to such extremes, the former president may actually be hurting the average American.

Woman draped in an American flag, pulling her hair in frustration

Source: Freepik

Bloomberg Economics actually took the time to calculate what such tariffs would mean for the US economy, and the results were seriously concerning.

Increasing Tariffs Means Higher Cost of Living

The model created by Bloomberg Economics clearly showed that if Trump goes through with his promise to increase foreign tariffs, the cost of living for Americans will also increase.

Photograph of an invoice sheet behind several US nickels with white arrows and $ signs

Source: iStock

They noted that within just one year of Trump in the White House, the “core personal consumption expenditures price index” will increase by 3.7%, which is almost double what the government is planning for. Additionally, they reported that the country can expect a 2.1% rise in inflation by the end of 2025.


The Federal Reserve Will Have Its Hands Full

Of course, this is only an estimation. What really happens will depend on how the Federal Reserve responds to the drastic change in import tariffs.

Exterior of the US Federal Reserve building

Source: Adobe Stock

As financial experts explain, the federal government will likely have to make a challenging decision between increasing interest rates to fight inflation or reducing them to ensure the economy continues to expand.


Tarifs Usually Go Both Ways

It’s important to understand there are several ways in which tariffs affect American consumers. As mentioned, inflation will likely rise throughout the nation, but there is another negative side effect. Most often, foreign governments respond to tariffs by matching them, so if the US places a 60% fee on Chinese imports, China will do the same for American products.

Close-up photograph of the Chinese flag

Source: Freepik

Known as retaliatory tariffs, The Tax Foundation explained that these “retaliatory tariffs will reduce U.S. GDP by 0.04 percent ($9.4 billion) and reduce full-time employment by 29,000 full-time equivalent jobs.”


Goods Will Be More Expensive

Although Trump’s entire plan is based on improving the sales and subsequent profits of American businesses over those in China and other foreign countries, studies have shown that’s not what import tariffs do.

A ginormous container ship filled with imported goods at sea

Source: Freepik

In fact, the third and arguably most frustrating result of Trump’s tariff plan is that the average American will be paying 2.5% more for all consumer products after just two years.


Reduced Trade Means Higher Prices for Americans

According to the Tax Foundation, tariffs lead directly to a reduction in imported foreign goods, which “means fewer options for U.S. consumers and higher prices.”

Two women look at the prices of groceries in the store

Source: Adobe Stock

Therefore, products from overseas will not only increase in price, but state-side corporations will also increase their prices to match the supply and demand economy.


The Cost of Living in the USA Is Already Through the Roof

While any increase in the price of consumer goods is frustrating for Americans, now may be the worst possible time for this to happen.

A woman looks over her grocery receipt while leaving the store

Source: iStock

The cost of living in the United States is already through the roof and millions of Americans are already barely getting by. Most Americans spend about $1,000 per month on groceries alone, and according to one study, 60% of Americans are struggling to feed their families


The Life of the Average American Might Change Drastically in November

There’s no doubt any presidential election can and often does lead to significant changes for the United States. However, the 2024 election is especially noteworthy, as both candidates have incredibly different plans for the country.

A young couple looks extremely stressed as they go over their finances

Source: Freepik

If Trump wins the White House again, the changes will be innumerable, and many worry that one of the most influential difference will be in the price in consumer goods thanks to the “Tariff Man.”