WASHINGTON, D.C., (January 30, 2020) – Due to a significant decrease in business spending and investment triggered by the trade war, the United States economy grew just 2.3 percent in 2019, marking the weakest year in terms of growth since President Trump took office. Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 associations from every sector of the economy united in the fight against tariffs, released the following statement from spokesperson Jonathan Gold in response to today’s news.
“This stagnant growth only further emphasizes the direct correlation between the trade war and U.S. economic impact. Tariffs are paid by American consumers and businesses, and prevented the U.S. economy from reaching its full potential last year. It’s clear the trade war and tariffs are still impacting American businesses, workers, and consumers. In order to secure a higher GDP, all tariffs must be completely lifted. While the Phase One deal with China is a step in the right direction, a Phase Two deal must be negotiated and signed as soon as possible to promote economic growth, and to the benefit of all Americans.”
“Growth was held back by trade fears and a business investment slump” (Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam, “U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent in 2019, the slowest of Trump’s presidency,” Washington Post, 1/30/20)
“Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump to restructure the United States’s top trade relationships have cost American companies $46 billion since February 2018” (Andrea Shalal, “Trump’s tariffs cost U.S. companies $46 billion to date, data shows,” Reuters, 1/9/20)
“Examining the fallout of tariffs in data through October, the authors found that Americans had continued paying for the levies — which increased substantially over the course of the year. Their paper, which is an update on previous research, found that “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on American buyers.” (Jeanna Smialek and Ana Swanson, “American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs,” The New York Times, 1/6/20)