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The Debate Over Shifting Taxation from Income to Imports

Updated: Jul 9

As the presidential election approaches, politicians are discussing new laws and regulations they want to put in place. One idea that's getting attention is from former President Donald Trump. He hinted at  getting rid of the tax that people pay on their income and instead put a tax on things that are brought into the country from other places.


Let's explain what this tax on imports, called tariffs, means:


In the U.S., tariffs are like taxes that the government puts on things that come into the country from other countries. These taxes serve several important purposes.


First, they bring in money for the government, which is used for things like schools and roads.


Second, tariffs make things from other countries more expensive than things made in the U.S. This can make people more likely to buy things made here, which helps American businesses and keeps jobs in the country.


Third, tariffs can be used to help make deals with other countries about trade. By changing the tariffs, the U.S. can encourage or discourage trading with certain countries, which can help manage relationships with other nations.


Fourth, tariffs can stop something called "dumping." This is when companies from other countries sell things in the U.S. for very low prices, sometimes even lower than what it costs to make them. This can hurt American businesses. Tariffs can make these cheap imports more expensive, which helps protect American companies.


There are different kinds of tariffs. Some are based on a percentage of the value of the item, like 10% of a $100 item would be a $10 tariff. Others are a fixed amount for each unit, like $1 for every kilogram. Some tariffs use both methods.


While tariffs can help American businesses and jobs, they also have downsides. They can make things more expensive for people to buy, which means higher prices in stores. Also, if the U.S. puts high tariffs on goods from other countries, those countries might do the same to American goods. This can lead to trade problems and affect the economy, jobs, and prices in both places.


Tariffs are a way for the government to control what comes into the country, protect local businesses, and make money. But they have to be used carefully to avoid hurting the economy and relationships with other countries.

General informational content only. Not tax, legal, or investment advice. Consult a financial professional before making investment decisions. Conduct due diligence.All investments involve risk, including potential loss of principal.


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