Fact Check: Kamala Harris Falsely Claims American Families Taxed by Tariffs

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a Women of Color roundtable discussion, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Senator Kamala Harris on Wednesday night said that American households are paying more for everyday items because of Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Claim: “Jerome Powell just dropped the interest rates and he admitted why: because of the so-called trade policy that this president has, that has been nothing more than a Trump trade tax that has resulted in American families spending as much as $1.4 billion more a month on everything from shampoo to washing machines.”

Fact: The primary concern driving the Federal Reserve’s rate cut was sluggish growth around the world. Uncertainty over trade policy, rather than the tariffs themselves, was cited as a possible drag on business investment.

Prices, however, are not rising. In fact, the decline in inflation this year is one of the reasons the Fed cut rates. Compared with a year ago, consumer prices are up just 1.3 percent, far below the Fed’s 2 percent target. Core prices, which exclude fuel and food, are up just 1.6 percent.

Harris is wrong on the specifics, as well. The price washing machines, which rose after a special anti-dumping tariff was imposed early last year, is now down 4.0 percent year-over-year. The price of hair care and other personal hygiene products is up just 0.8 percent compared with a year ago.

Verdict: FALSE.

 

 

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