Tariffs have yet to meaningfully affect the US economy because of the relatively small amounts imposed so far, but trade tensions remain the biggest risk to the economic outlook, according to forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
- 78.4% of economists surveyed between Friday and Tuesday said the reason why tariffs on US imports and exports so far don’t seem to be having much of an effect on the strength of the US economy was because the amount hasn’t been significant.
- Under President Trump, the US has imposed tariffs on about $113 billion of imports, goods that represented about 4% of all US imports in 2017. Major US trading partners have responded with tariffs on about $70 billion of exports, or about 3% of US exports.
- The sum of goods that have had tariffs actually imposed is less than 1% of US gross domestic product.
Those numbers could grow substantially if trade disagreements escalate.
In all, the Trump administration has threatened tariffs on about $760 billion more in imports, including all automobile and auto part imports and nearly all imports from China. If implemented in full, those tariffs would significantly raise the stakes—and economic impact—hitting about 30% of all US imports.
Around two-thirds of respondents commented that trade or tariffs were the biggest risks to their economic growth forecasts in the next 12 months.