With President Donald Trump using tariffs against China and other nations as part of his push to win concessions and negotiate new trade deals, the amount of money being collected from American companies importing foreign products continues to grow to record levels, with the Trump Administration now predicting the feds will take in $81 billion in tariffs in 2019, almost double the previous year's $41.3 billion in import duties.
The new tariff figures came in the latest report from the Treasury Department on the federal budget deficit, as Uncle Sam ran a deficit in July of $120 billion, leaving this year's deficit at $867 billion, already larger than the deficit for all of 2018.
Tariffs accounted for $6.5 billion in revenue in July, totaling almost $57 billion for 2019, over $24 billion more than the same point in 2018.
And that figure will only grow, as the feds predict another $24 billion in import duties will be collected from U.S. companies in just the next two months - prompting hundreds of requests to the Trump Administration for tariff relief.
The @USTradeRep can't keep up with waiver requests from companies hurt by Trump's tariffs. The Administration started this senseless trade war and keeps escalating it. The least they can do is help businesses navigate the chaos they created.https://t.co/jHC9TXmFwP— Rep. Scott Peters (@RepScottPeters) August 7, 2019
The higher collections of tariffs - which are often denounced as a tax by conservatives - prompted one GOP Senator to call for additional tax cuts, in order to offset the tariff increase.
"Anything we raise in tariffs, we ought to give back to the American public in tax reductions," said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) during an appearance Monday on CNBC.
But Scott acknowledged there may have to be 'short term pain' for American businesses and consumers, in order to properly confront the Chinese over trade.
"We've got to stop China from stealing our technology," Scott added.
The higher tariffs have brought forth bipartisan criticism, as farm and business groups who are usually more allied with the Republican Party express concern, and Democrats pile on with their own complaints.
"The never-ending tariffs are having a direct, negative impact on many industries in our state, but perhaps none more than agriculture," said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in a letter to President Trump.
"American farmers are the ones paying for the President’s reckless trade war with China," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).