In Our View: State paying the price of Trump’s trade policy – The Columbian

Regardless of who wins Tuesday’s presidential election, federal trade policy will be essential to helping the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This is especially true in Washington.

“As the most trade-dependent state in the nation, with approximately 40 percent of all jobs tied to international commerce, international trade will play a central role in any Washington state economic recovery,” said Lori Otto Punke, president of the Washington Council on International Trade.

All of that means that President Donald Trump’s trade war, particularly with China, has had a deleterious impact on this state. Supporters — including Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler — say Trump has dealt forcefully with China to the benefit of U.S. workers and taxpayers. But Trump’s own assessment of his trade war has been detached from reality.

Trump imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of goods on China, meaning that U.S. importers pay those taxes and either pass them along to consumers or see their own bottom line take a hit. The right-leaning Tax Foundation found that Trump’s new tariffs on products from China and other nations amount to the 17th largest tax increase on Americans since 1940.

Predictably, those tariffs resulted in counter-tariffs from the Chinese government. That has increased prices and reduced demand for American products in China, particularly agricultural goods.

And still, Trump insisted during a presidential debate with challenger Joe Biden that China is paying