New Hampshire has a long history of Yankee frugality that has served us well and is supported by people across party lines. An essential part of this frugality is an aversion to the introduction of unnecessary taxes, fees, charges, assessments or whatever you call it when a local, state or federal government takes hard-earned money out of our pockets and puts it in their coffers.
It is for this reason that, Republicans, Democrats and independents across New Hampshire should all be equally worried about the Trump Tariff Tsunami.
And, in case there is any confusion on this point. Let’s be clear here: tariffs are a tax on New Hampshire businesses and New Hampshire consumers, plain and simple. Any agreements we come to as a State about taxes is getting blown out of the water by all these Trump Tariffs.
By imposing tariffs on goods coming from other countries, the Trump Administration is levying a sales tax on those goods; similar to the kind of tax there has been no support to impose on New Hampshire consumers at the state level. And if you don’t believe me, just look at the numbers: Trump Tariffs have already cost Granite Staters $71 million dollars as of May of this year. This number is expected to rise dramatically as more of the Trump Tariffs go into effect, including the latest round on products all New Hampshire families rely on like school supplies, medical devices and electronics like phones and computers.
Here in New Hampshire, the Tump Tariffs have driven up the prices of steel and aluminum. That has a ripple effect throughout our economy. A significant amount of produce we purchase at the grocery store comes from Mexico. Kevin Daigle of the New Hampshire Grocers Association warned WMUR-TV that lower-income consumers are going to be hit hardest by higher prices at the checkout counter.
And yet it gets worse because some countries are retaliating against us with their own tariffs that make American goods more expensive – and therefore less desirable – to buy. New Hampshire businesses have faced $30 million in retaliatory tariffs as of May of this year. The advocacy group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland estimates a 27 percent drop this year in exports in products subject to retaliatory tariffs. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says $415 million worth of state exports are threatened by new tariffs. Those exports support over 183,000 New Hampshire jobs.
Look, China cheats. We know that. And other countries take liberties with their trade deals with the U.S. should always mount a strong defense of the American economy. But his trade policy isn’t working. It has brought a good deal of pain without much to show for it in return.
While President Trump rallies his supporters here on August 15th, he should consider the negative impact the Trump Tariffs are having on Granite State consumers and business owners. Then, he should reconsider his policy.