Companies in Texas paid $654 million more in tariffs this summer than the same three-month period last year, according to Dallas Morning News — a 142 percent increase caused by President Donald Trump’s trade war.
> That's one of the major findings in an analysis released Thursday by the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, a national coalition of business and farm groups.
> The startling jump in import levies jibes with the impact that's been reported anecdotally by Texas businesses over the last several months as Trump has imposed tariffs on washing machines, solar panels, steel and aluminum, and an enormous list of goods produced in China.
> Affected businesses may be forced to reduce investment and hiring as a result, while consumers could end up feeling the pinch by way of higher prices.
Trump has continued insisting that his tariffs will produce favorable results in the long-term, even if Americans and U.S. businesses feel short-term pain.
> While Texas lawmakers in both parties have generally pushed back against Trump's tariffs, the president has threatened to enact even more.
> Trump has cited the levies as an effective way to gain leverage over America's trading partners and get better deals for the U.S. He made that case, for instance, while touting the accord the U.S. reached late last month with Canada and Mexico on a new North American Free Trade Agreement.
> "Without tariffs, we wouldn't be talking about a deal," he said then, referring to what he's calling the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. "Just for those babies out there that keep talking about tariffs. That includes Congress."
Some of “those babies” come from states and industries important to the president, such as the oil and gas industry, farmers and small business across the U.S.
> Texas' oil and gas sector, for instance, has bemoaned the effect that the steel tariffs are having on pipeline construction and other activity. Texas' semiconductor industry has said the levies on Chinese goods mean that they end up paying tariffs on their own products.
> Texas farmers and ranchers, among others, are feeling the other side of that burn. Retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, Mexico and the EU make those Texans' goods more expensive in foreign markets, with key exports like grain sorghum, pecans and cotton taking the hit.
> "This affects our bottom line," said Texas Ale Project president Kat Thompson, explaining how the aluminum tariffs are hitting her company's beer cans. "You may think, 'OK, a one-cent increase on a can, whoop-de-doo.' But it adds up real fast when you're talking about 100,000 cans."