Tariffs a "tax" on consumers: Study

Tariffs a "tax" on consumers: Study

WASHINGTON -- Tariffs and quotas cost the average American family $238 in hidden "protection taxes," according to a new study.

According to the study, "Protectionism in America: Watch Your Wallet," conducted by Consumers for World Trade, quotas and tariffs on consumer goods including apparel, footwear, sugar and peanuts amount to a "national sales tax" of 6 percent. The study, to be released in November, was the focus of a discussion panel hosted by CWT on Friday.

"The worst aspect of these protection taxes is that they are hidden from the public," said study author Laura Baughman of the Trade Partnership. "Tariffs and higher prices for domestic goods that result from protection do not appear on cash register receipts or credit card bills."

The study said the biggest offenders are quotas and tariffs on apparel, which can increase the cost of goods by 17.2 percent. Leather luggage and handbags can cost 13.4 percent more, and footwear can cost 7.3 percent more because of the tariffs and quotas.

The report is available at www.cwt.org.

-- Andrew Beadle