Many economists see tariffs as a tax that it is ultimately paid by consumers. Viewed that way, President Trump’s tariffs amount to the largest tax hike in more than two decades, says CNBC’s Steve Liesman.
“A CNBC analysis of data from the Treasury Department ranks the combined $72 billion in revenue from all the president’s tariffs as one of the biggest tax increases since 1993,” Liesman wrote Thursday. “In fact, the tariff revenue ranks as the largest increase as a percent of GDP since 1993 when compared with the first year of all the revenue measures enacted since then, according to the data.”
The revenue from Trump’s tariffs equals 0.34% of U.S. GDP, Liesman said, the largest increase in federal revenue from the first year of a single measure since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, also known as the Deficit Reduction Act, which generated revenues equal to 0.36% of GDP.
Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation said that while Trump’s tariffs “rank among some of the bigger tax proposals over the last 20 years,” it’s important to note that they aren’t treated like a tax by lawmakers. As a result, there is no formal analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation on how they will affect the economy, jobs and inflation.