Five US jobs will be lost for every new one created by Trump’s steel tariffs

Construction would be particularly hard hit.
Construction would be particularly hard hit.
Image: Reuters/Rick Wilking
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The across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum that Donald Trump announced last week would result in a net loss of 146,000 US jobs, even before the impact of any retaliatory tariffs from trading partners are figured in, according to a Washington, DC-based economic consulting group.

“Steel and aluminum tariffs would reverberate throughout the US economy in ways that will, on balance, reduce US employment,” writes the Trade Partnership in a study (pdf) published Monday (March 5). Here’s a partial list of estimated jobs lost and gained by the tariffs, according to the study:

Overall, five jobs will be cut for every one created by the tariffs, the study says.

The service sector—including jobs in things like recreation and professional services— will be especially hard-hit, the authors of the study argue, because US consumers who are forced to pay more for goods like cars would cut spending in other areas:

Consumers have reduced spending power when they are hit by higher costs (of a new car, a new washing machine, etc.) and, for many, lost wages from unemployment. As a result, households pull back on spending; services like education, entertainment and even healthcare are on the front lines of the spending reduction impacts, with additional attendant job losses.