Here's what is going to be more expensive thanks to Trump's tariff war

Do you wear hats? Or own a lamp? Well, say goodbye (or perhaps more accurately: 再见) to them, as in late September there will be a 25% increase in prices thanks to President Trump's peculiar fixation on tariffs.

Do you wear hats? Or own a lamp? Well, say goodbye (or perhaps more accurately: 再见) to them, as in late September there will be a 25% increase in prices thanks to President Trump's peculiar fixation on tariffs. It's a move that even the U.S Chamber of Commerce says will "dramatically expand harm to American consumers, workers, businesses, and the economy."

When tariffs were implemented by other administrations, they focused on things that wouldn't affect the regular American consumer: machine parts, Chinese tires, and more.  Instead, Trump's list seems to hurt Americans in literally every area of life, from birth to death: both baby carriages and coffins are on the tariff list. 

The list itself, available in full here, is over 180 pages long. 

  • Clothing ('47 Brand says “Most consumers cannot or would not pay 25 percent more for a ball cap. And if this increase in tariff takes effect, our business will stagnate or decline altogether”)
  • Seafood. This includes most major fish, from tuna to salmon. This could put thousands of restaurants out of business.
  • Airbags in cars. 
  • All fruits (it is specified as "Fruit, not elsewhere specified or included, fresh.")
  • Anything made of plastic — there are 121 different types of plastics in the document. 
  • Coffins. 
  • Bicycles and bicycle parts.
  • Lighting of any kind. 
  • Furniture. 
  • Raw metals. 
  • ATMs.
  • Over 180 different types of auto parts, and 50 types of tires (for all kinds of vehicles). 
  • Yarn. 
  • More than 60 different kinds of fabrics. 

This, combined with the tariffs that other countries have put on America, means that less there's less money across the board for everyone. American alcohol companies alone are seeing a 10% decline in sales directly due to foreign order cancellations due to the tariffs—Jack Daniels, in particular, has 60% of its business tied up in overseas markets, mostly China and Europe. America's farmers are taking a $12—15b loss thanks to China's tariffs.

Trump might want to examine Obama's 2009 tariffs. When he added a 35% tax onto Chinese-made tires, it saved 1,200 jobs in the American tire industry. But thanks to the $1.1b that tax added to the price of tires, that translated to over 3,700 retail jobs lost. Nobody wins in a trade war. 

So while this might result in some jobs retained, there's a reality that Trump could trigger another Great Depression. More than 1,100 economists, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler, co-signed a letter in May urging Trump to back off the tariff angle as it mirrors the conditions that triggered the first Great Depression.  

Until that comes, enjoy your fruits, hats, and airbags! It's about to get a lot more expensive for the American consumer. 

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less