May 5 | By: Andrew Mayeda and Lynnley Browning.
There’s something attractively simple about President Donald Trump’s idea for a reciprocal tax: charge high tariffs on our products, and we’ll ding you right back.
Putting that concept in place without violating America’s international trade obligations — or pushing up the prices consumers pay for everything from televisions to toothbrushes — would be another story. Yet Trump’s enthusiasm for the idea of punishing countries that impose high tariffs on U.S. imports with matching tariffs on their exports was evident in an interview with Bloomberg News this week.
“I love a reciprocal tax,” Trump said in the interview. “Nobody can fight it. It’s fair and it’s something that we are working on very strongly.”
It’s the latest in a variety of proposals the Trump administration has floated as a way to reduce the $500 billion U.S. trade deficit on goods and services. Revenue raised could help fund an aggressive plan to cut taxes and ramp up infrastructure spending.
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