US-China trade war: Tariff revenue reaches record $7.1B in September

The U.S. government pulled in a record $7.1 billion from tariffs in September, new data shows.

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Revenue from tariffs on goods like electronics and apparel rose by 59 percent versus a year ago, and increased by $600 million from August, according to U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Agriculture data analyzed by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a bipartisan group focused on telling the stories of Americans hurt by tariffs.

The increased revenue was the result of the U.S. levying a new 15 percent tariff on $111 billion of Chinese goods beginning Sept. 1. The U.S. has placed tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods amid its more than year-long trade war with Beijing.

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“This data offers concrete proof that tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and consumers – not by China,” Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold said in the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’s analysis.

The Trump administration has been adamant that U.S. consumers aren't bearing the brunt of the tariffs.

“There was a study done by one of the European think tanks that said of the 25 percent [tariff], 20.4 or thereabouts had been absorbed on the Chinese side, either through the deterioration in currency or through prices, and only about 4.5 percent was absorbed on the U.S. side,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Gerry Baker during an interview on FOX Business’ “WSJ at Large.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has echoed those claims telling Baker “it’s just false” that the consumer is feeling the pain of the tariffs.

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While the U.S. may be seeing record revenue from the tariffs, it may not last.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that the two sides have agreed to roll back tariffs as part of a phase one trade deal.

“In the past two weeks, lead negotiators have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving issues of core concern. Both sides agreed to remove the additional tariffs imposed in phases as progress is made on the agreement," said Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.

"If China and the US reach a phase one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously," Feng added.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

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The U.S. and China are said to be putting the finishing touches on the first phase of a trade deal, which they hope to sign later this month. The timeline for an agreement was thrown into question after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which was scheduled for later this month and is where President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had hoped to sign the deal, was canceled due to unrest in the host country Chile.