U.S. President can either be a “tariff president” or a “two-term president,” a public policy expert said.
It remains relatively undetermined to what extent U.S.-China trade tensions have weighed on the American economy, but any continued damage could tip the scales in the upcoming presidential election, according to David Firestein, executive director of the University of Texas at Austin’s China Public Policy Center.
That is, if Trump continues imposing tariffs, he may lose the slim electoral edge that won him the White House in the 2016 election, Firestein predicted.
“He doesn’t have the slack in his popular support to be able to damage the economic interests of many of his constituents in the heartland of the US and still expect that they will unanimously support him for president as they did four years ago,” said Firestein.
“President Trump has raised tariffs and that means he’s raised taxes on the American people pretty much across the board,” said Firestein.
Researchers from the International Monetary Fund found a “nearly complete pass through of tariffs” to Americans. That means American consumers and manufacturers are largely bearing the burden of Trump’s tariffs — not the Chinese exporters.
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