US businesses paid 'unprecedented' $4.4B in tariffs in September

aerial view of containers on pier

November 7, 2018 - American businesses paid an "unprecedented" $4.4 billion in tariffs in September 2018, according to data collected from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a nationwide campaign against tariffs.

The tariffs businesses paid in September represent a 54% increase compared to September 2017, although the total value of imports increased by just 10%.

Retaliatory tariffs imposed by other nations are affecting exports from American businesses too. In September 2018, exports of products subject to retaliatory tariffs dropped 26% year over year. 

Company executives across industries have warned for months the potential impact of tariffs, as well as retaliatory tariffs, on their profit margins. Now the data is rolling in.

The latest round of tariffs — 10% duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports covering a wide range of goods — went into effect in late September, so October's data could reveal even more costs to businesses.

In addition, those tariffs will rise to 25% at the beginning of next year, creating additional costs for American importers. 

"This historic rise in costs for American businesses, farmers and consumers is only the beginning," Charles Boustany, former Louisiana congressman and spokesman for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, said in a statement. 

Sourcing is not the only part of the supply chain taking a blow from tariffs.

"Retaliatory tariffs had an immediate and severe impact on US exports," Tariffs Hurt the Heartland wrote in a news release.

Since July, exports of goods subject to retaliatory tariffs have been dropping. As with import tariffs, the data doesn't fully account for retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on $60 billion worth of imports from the U.S., also imposed Sept. 24.

Source: Supply Chain Dive