Free Trade

OP-ED: Trump’s “Big [Bad] Border Tax”

Doug Sachtleben - January 05th, 2017

By David McIntosh

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When the President-elect takes to Twitter to threaten a major American company with a “big border tax,” as he did again on Tuesday, Americans are the real losers. First, it is working families who would pay the Big Tax. Second, the fact that the future leader of the free world is signaling out a private employer for a campaign of berating criticism means that everyone is in jeopardy.

American companies already face the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world at 35%. Forty-four states levy an additional corporate income tax. Those high taxes are passed along to consumers as the price of doing business.

If the President-elect follows through on his threats, those costs will soar even higher. In fact, here’s exactly what happens when Washington imposes tariffs on imports coming into the country:

1. The price of the imported product rises. A tariff is a hidden tax that’s passed along to buyers. Tariffs are often in double digits so they hurt everyone from consumers buying new electronic gadgets to businesses that are importing raw materials for products finished here.


Club for Growth Supports Ryan’s No-Tariff-Increase Pledge

Doug Sachtleben - January 05th, 2017

“The President-elect’s threat of a ‘big border tax is bad policy and bad precedent.”


Washington, DC – Club for Growth president David McIntosh released the following statement in response to published reports that Speaker Paul Ryan said, “We’re not going to be raising tariffs”:

“The President-elect’s threat of a ‘big border tax’ is bad policy and bad precedent, and we applaud Speaker Ryan for unequivocally ruling out tariff increases,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “American consumers, workers, and businesses would be the big losers if tariffs were used to arbitrarily punish companies. Taking that threat off the table is a smart move by the Speaker of the House.”

Note: In a column posted yesterday on, Club President David McIntosh outlined the Club’s opposition to the President-elect’s “big border tax”:

Club for Growth Backs House Leadership’s Warning Against Tariffs

Doug Sachtleben - December 05th, 2016

“Tax cuts and deregulation will make the American economy great again, but tariffs and trade wars will make it tank again.”

 Washington, DC – Club for Growth president David McIntosh released the following statement in response to published reports that “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to back President-elect Donald Trump’s push for a 35-percent tariff on companies that move operations abroad…”:

“Tax cuts and deregulation will make the American economy great again, but tariffs and trade wars will make it tank again,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “The president-elect is spot on when he calls for cutting taxes and federal regulations, but 35-percent tariffs would be devastating to consumers and businesses. The Majority Leader is right to caution against protectionism and to urge a robust debate on free markets and trade.”

Trump Should Tread Softly On His New Trade Agenda

Doug Sachtleben - December 02nd, 2016

In an op-ed published (11/28/16) in Investor’s Business Daily, Club President David McIntosh and Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar Scott Lincicome addressed economic and legal concerns in the President-elect’s trade rhetoric.


President-Elect Donald Trump has released an ambitious to-do list. His plans for cutting individual and corporate taxes, for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and for regulatory reform all hold great promise. But his threat to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and to use import duties to force our trading partners to bend to his will, would tank any economic recovery and have severe constitutional implications.

It’s crucial to remember the tremendous benefits of trade, particularly through NAFTA.  About one-third of all U.S. merchandise exports are bought by Mexico and Canada, and exports from our service industries and from the agriculture sector have risen dramatically under the agreement.

Thanks to imports, American families effectively stretch their pay check by about $10,000 each year. Around 800,000 American auto industry jobs depend on a seamless North American supply chain to stay globally competitive. American-made raw materials constitute about 40% of the content of the products we import from Mexico, and almost 75% of all U.S. inputs that return here as finished goods come from Canada and Mexico. Undoing NAFTA would cause job losses, lower living standards and economic calamity.

The imposition of tariffs punishes all American consumers, and businesses that use cheap imports as raw material in the things they make. The reward for tariffs goes to a select few in a certain politically connected industry that is being protected. It’s cronyism that hurts all Americans and does nothing to fix whatever perceived problem there was with trade.


Lumber Policy May Spark Trade War

Madeline Rainwater - October 20th, 2016

The United States may have another front  in a potential trade war: Canada. With protective tariffs forcing Canadian lumber to shutter their doors, American citizens will pay likely pay much higher prices.

Read more on this story here!