Economist Mike Walden: Tariff Wars

I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at tariff wars.  Mike, one of the major disputes in the world this year has been over tariffs.   The U.S has argued foreign countries charge higher tariffs on our products sold to them than we charge on products bought from those countries.  Does the U.S. have a point?

  1. First – what is a tariff: a tax on something imported from another country
  2. So makes that import more expensive
  3. Often done to protect or promote domestic production, but goes against idea that if can buy something cheaper from a foreign country – then that’s a gain
  4. Average US tariffs are among the lowest in the world
  5. US: 1.7%; only Canada lower at 1.6%
  6. But world average is 5%, China and Japan are near 3%, and the EU is at 2%
  7. So US has a point – and one option is to lower all tariffs, maybe to 0

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.