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Who Are the Winners and Losers of Trump’s Trade War With China?

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China‘s President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.

With the United States–China trade war intensifying, there is a lot of talk about whether tariffs save American jobs—as President Donald Trump claims—or destroy them.

On May 14th, for example, Trump said his tariffs helped save the U.S. steel industry. Whether or not that’s true, many economists and industry organizations argue trade protectionism is actually hurting workers in a range of other areas, such as the solar power sector, civil aircraft, and auto manufacturing.

So is the trade war making Americans better off or worse? Political economists like me have been exploring this question since Trump‘s trade war began about a year ago. The answer makes a big difference to the economic welfare of American workers. And, with the 2020 elections soon approaching, it may help determine whether Trump is able to remain in the Oval Office.

The Winners

At first glance, the jobs data does look good for Trump‘s argument.

Since Trump announced tariffs on more than 1,000 Chinese products on April 3rd, 2018, about 2.6 million new jobs have been added to the U.S. economy.

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