Business group: Trump trade war may kill hundreds of thousands of jobs


People who actually understand business and economics known that Trump's trade policies will be a disaster for American workers.

For the second day in a row, Trump's trade policies got roasted at a U.S. Trade Representative hearing. This time, the forceful pushback came from an executive with the National Retail Federation (NRF).

David French, the group's senior vice president for government relations, testified Wednesday that the tariffs currently under consideration would raise the prices of products for American consumers and kill American jobs, according to studies it commissioned.

"The tariffs will also hurt consumers when workers lose jobs," French said. "A second NRF sponsored study of the broader impacts of the tariffs, coupled with certain Chinese retaliation already announced, finds that the tariffs would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $3 billion and destroy 134,000 American jobs annually."

But that estimate only covers the tariffs currently under consideration, and Trump has asked for another $100 billion.

The study French cited notes that those additional tariffs would be even more destructive to the economy. "U.S. output would decline by $49 billion, and nearly 455,000 workers would lose jobs" annually, the study says. And more than half of the jobs lost would be in construction or manufacturing.

The NRF also noted that those 455,000 jobs lost per year would cause a ripple effect in the economy, because workers who lose their jobs would no longer have disposable income to spend.

French's testimony comes one day after a similar assessment from Mary Buchzeiger, CEO of Lucerne International. Buchzeiger is a Republican who is otherwise supportive of Trump. But she told the USTR that his policies will "cripple" her business and others across the Midwest.

Trump's policies have been disastrous for the people who support him. His trade war is rattling his base, and in turn, the Republican Party as a whole. Now it's growing clearer every day that it's also set to harm the businesses toward which he is supposed to be so friendly.

But a lot of businesses and workers are learning what the European Union already knew.

With a friend like Trump, who needs enemies?